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Andrew Bland
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In a recent case before the FWC, an employee was dismissed following a bizarre Facebook messenger conversation with her employer. The commission found that the employer had no real reason to dismiss the employee, and was critical of the employer’s conduct in conducting a dismissal over Facebook messenger without any reasonable justification.
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A new casual conversion clause will take effect in 85 Modern Awards from 1 October 2018. Employers of casual employees need to be aware of the changes and ensure they are compliant with the provisions including notification to existing and new casual employees.
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Important: New Federal Court decision could impact you if you employ casual staff

You may have read in the media the latest decision of the Federal Court that has potentially wide ranging issues for Employers that engage casual staff.

Essentially, the Court has allowed an employee that was engaged as a casual, and paid casual loading, to also receive annual leave. In other words, the employee was allowed to double dip.

Predictably, this decision has created quite a bit of confusion for employers. The issue is complex, and after considering the judgment, we at BlandsLaw have developed a strategy that will give Employers the best chance of avoiding this double payment.

If you or your clients employee casual staff, please call Andrew Bland to discuss if and how this affects you and how we can assist.

Kind regards
Andrew Bland | Principal
T: 02 9412 3077 | Fax: 02 9410 2643 | 0401 244 418
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In a recent case, the FWC found that a worker was unfairly dismissed when his employer instantly dismissed him for breaching the “zero tolerance” mobile phone policy after he had used his phone in a ‘food production area’. However, the employer failed to show that they sufficiently communicated policy content or provided adequate training.
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In a recent case before the FWC a bus driver who suffered from substantial nerve pain and severe anxiety was dismissed following a 16-month period of medical reviews, “capacity to work” assessments, abandoned return to work plans, meetings and medical reports. Although the employee was performing modified duties, there was little to no capacity to perform his pre-injury duties and the Commission was satisfied that the driver lacked capacity to perform the inherent requirements of the role. http://blandslaw.com.au/blog/305-fwc-supports-dismissal-for-lack-of-capacity.html
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During workplace investigations, employees should be reminded of the importance of maintaining confidentiality. In a recent case before the FWC, a Westpac employee was dismissed after she sent an email to her state manager containing factually incorrect information about her colleague and the investigation by HR into her bullying and harassment complaints against him. The FWC agreed that she sent the emails in an effort to de-rail his promotional opportunity within the company.
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In this article, we discuss the amendments to The Fair Work Act following the passage of the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill in September last year. All employers, franchisors and holding companies are urged to become familiar with the changes and ensure they are complaint with Australia’s workplace laws.
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Employers are urged to consider their code of conduct when applying disciplinary action against those who engage in unacceptable conduct towards co-workers. In a recent case, the FWC upheld the sacking of a Qantas worker for separate instances of misconduct, including shoving a co-worker up against a locker, telling him to f___ off back to his own country and pushing a table against his body because the co-worker was fiddling with coins on the table.
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In a recent case, the FWC made an order to prevent a catering assistant from being bullied at work in the future. When the employee raised bullying complaints, her manager and HR advisor failed to investigate the matter, which was contrary to their own company policy.
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Employers must be careful when accepting resignations that occur “in the heat of the moment’. Refusing to accept a withdrawal of resignation in these circumstances might be deemed as “constructive dismissal’. In a recent case, the FWC decided that an employer should not have accepted the resignation of a visibly irrational and emotionally distressed employee.
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