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Category: HR Legal


Employers entitled to rely on “the most relevant and comprehensive medical advice” in managing long term injured workers

In April, HR Legal reported on a decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) which granted an employer leave to appeal against an earlier decision in which the FWC had rejected the assessment conducted by an independent occupational physician at the employer’s direction. The worker had been injured in a skydiving […]

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More holes in the corporate veil – FWO v Step Ahead Security Services

Fair Work Ombudsman v Step Ahead Security Services Pty Ltd and Another A private security firm, Step Ahead Services Pty Ltd, had paid eight casual security staff flat hourly rates of $20 on weekdays, $25 on weekends, and $30 on public holidays. Separate overtime and other penalties in the Security Services Award 2010 were not […]

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Annual Wage Increase

As part of its annual wage review, the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel has today ordered an increase to the national minimum wage of 2.4%. The new national minimum wage will be $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour. This constitutes an increase of $15.80 per week to the weekly rate or 41 cents per […]

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Thinking about terminating a long-term injured worker’s employment? Be careful before you do

The Decision The decision of Butterworths v Independence Australia Services concerned an employee, Ms Butterworth, who had worked as a Customer Services Officer at Independence Australia Services (IAS) from 2007 to 2013. The employee suffered from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, a neck and shoulder injury and anxiety and depression, which required her to be returned […]

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Impacts of Parental Leave on Businesses

Managing parental leave and return to work transitions presents several challenges to employers regarding their legal obligations to employees, costs associated with the transition and management of other employees to ensure minimal disruption to workplace output. These challenges affect key areas that are managed by human resources professionals and company directors. Parental Leave Discrimination Pregnancy […]

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Injured workers: Conducting an independent assessment can be critical

The recent decision of Lion Dairy and Drinks Milk Limited v Peter Norman highlights that employers have the right to direct workers to be independently assessed by medical professionals of their choosing, for the purpose of fulfilling OH&S requirements, and determining whether termination is necessary. In February 2014, the worker was injured in a skydiving […]

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Work Safe, Work Smart

In Victoria, the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) is the managing body of the workplace safety system. The VWA aims to prevent workplace injuries, enforce occupational health and safety laws, and provide workplace injury insurance for employers. Its insurance may cover things like replacement of lost income, medical and rehabilitation costs, legal costs and compensation in […]

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Sacked for being Obese? Yes and No

A recent case in the Fair Work Commission demonstrates how employers can validly and fairly terminate an employee when the employee poses a health risk to others, and themselves. Employers have the right to terminate an employee if they are unable to fulfil the inherent requirements of their role. However, prior to doing so, an […]

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Rejected Annual Leave Application is Not an Open Door for Sick Leave

The Full Federal Court has upheld the dismissal of an employee who was terminated for using sick leave when his application for annual leave was declined. The employee was sacked after he took sick leave on the days for which he had initially requested to take annual leave. The request for annual leave was declined […]

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Redundancy during parental leave – Know the risks!

In a recent case, the Federal Circuit Court held that despite a lack of profitability, the employer took adverse action against an employee on parental leave when they failed to return her to her pre-parental leave position and brought forward her redundancy. Heraud v Roy Morgan Research Ltd [2016] The employee was an Operations Director […]

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