Australia: Workplace change for the Covid recovery

We’re delighted to have launched our Workplace Change for the Covid Recovery – Australian Industrial Relations Reforms series. Look forward to twice weekly additions to this site focusing on the practical impacts for business in the face of the proposed reforms. This week, Anthony Wood and Shivchand Jhinku consider progress in relation to the process … Read more

Australia: Did Parliament lose “site” of its purpose? Construction Industry Portable Long Service Leave Scheme applied to work on established operational sites

Programmed Industrial Maintenance Pty Ltd v The Construction Industry Long Service Leave Payments Board [2020] WAIRC 00758 In a decision that will likely have wide-ranging implications across Western Australia resources sector, a Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) has found that employees performing maintenance and repair work at operational resource facilities … Read more

Australia: JobKeeper 2.0: here’s what it means

The Federal Treasury undertook a three-month review of the current JobKeeper scheme (Current Scheme) in June 2020. The review found that whilst the Current Scheme met its initial objectives to support businesses and job survival, the labour market remains weak in Australia and in need of further macroeconomic support. In light of the review’s findings, … Read more

Australia: BOOT-beware: Full Bench once again emphasises the complexity involved with BOOT assessments in considering approval of Swissport’s ‘loaded’ rates agreement

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently revisited the principles for determining whether an enterprise agreement passes the ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT) in relation to an enterprise agreements with ‘loaded rates’. In doing so they further emphasised the complex nature of the enterprise bargaining provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 … Read more

Australia: Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions – Navigating the current rules for employers

Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions came into proper effect from 11:59pm, Wednesday 5 August 2020. Although the restrictions significantly impact a substantial number of businesses across metropolitan Melbourne, attempting to navigate the framework involves reviewing a myriad of sources, including formal directions, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidance material, supporting documents and materials. This … Read more

Australia: “What is the ruin of a person’s quality of life worth?”: Hughes v Hill confirms the upward trend in damages for sexual harassment

In Hughes v Hill, the Full Federal Court emphatically dismissed a solicitor’s appeal against a finding that he had sexually harassed a paralegal and against damages which he asserted were “manifestly excessive”. In doing so, the Court made it clear that the highest level of damages (both general and aggravated) will be available – and justified … Read more

Australia: New COVID-19 notification requirements for Victorian employers

The Victorian Government has responded to the second surge in Covid-19 cases, by expanding the existing notification duty on employers to now require notification to WorkSafe of cases of COVID-19 among their employees and contractors. Under the expanded definition of a notifiable incident, Victorian employers that become aware that an employee or an independent contractor … Read more