Fair Work Act

News & Analysis as of

Strike Out! Redundancies Permitted After Strike Action

In August 2016, workers at Anglo Amercian's German Creek coal mine in Central Queensland engaged in a protracted period of industrial action during bargaining negotiations for a new enterprise agreement. In order for mining...more

NYC Council Introduces Suite of Worker Protection Bills, In Likely Sign of Things to Come

As we noted in an earlier post, the election of Donald J. Trump likely means that states and municipalities—and not the federal government—will lead the charge on worker-protection issues for the next four years. In this...more

They Are Unhappy Out There

Many workplaces are not happy and bullying at the workplace appears on the rise, so the November 2016 Psychosocial Safety Climate and Better Productivity in Australian Workplaces Report and the Bullying and Harassment in...more

Code Orange Moving to Green: New Building Code for Construction Sector

The passing of the Registered Organisations Bill on by the Senate on Tuesday 22 November 2016 and the passage of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill (ABCC Bill) on 30 November 2016 following...more

ABCC Law Changes Explained

Originally published in Australian Financial Review on November 23rd, 2016. In the next two weeks the Turnbull government will attempt to negotiate the passage of its industrial relations bills through the Parliament....more

Adverse Action Provisions Apply to NSW Government Entities!*

* Well, not really…but we got your attention! And the heading is not as misleading as you might think… Of course, the general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), and in particular, the...more

Enough is enough - stopping bullying in the workplace in Australia

Bullying at work has long been recognized as a problem. The potential negative consequences are endless, including risks to health and safety, adverse impacts on culture and morale, increased absenteeism and turnover, damage...more

How about the 'Service'? Does Casual Employment Count?

A recent decision of the Full Bench in AMWU v Donau Pty Ltd [2016] FWCFB 3075 (Donau) has held that a permanent employee's initial regular and systematic casual employment will now be included in their service period for...more

The widening net of accessorial liability in Australia

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) is a principal piece of employment legislation in Australia. Among other things, it sets out minimum terms and conditions of employment (the "National Employment Standards"), prescribes...more

Take It or Leave It

Annual leave for many employees is not annual – they bank it, they don't have a rest from work and the leave liability of the employer grows. Other employees can't get enough and want to cut into future entitlements....more

Franchising Update

Franchising is set to undergo change following the Australian Federal election. The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment recently recommended further amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct to allow...more

Full Federal Court Isolates Vague Notices and Tags Out Broad Stop Industrial Action Orders

A company is in protracted negotiations with its workforce and the union representing its employees in an effort to finalise a new enterprise agreement. The gridlock has had the consequence of employees organising themselves...more

Rolling the Dice on Industrial Relations: Can the Government Implement its Reform Package?

Your Excellency … I am able to advise that all conditions for a double dissolution have been met with respect to two parcels of legislation: the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 and...more

Up We Go Again – Financial Threshold Increases Effective 1 July 2016

Employers should be alert to the threshold changes which come into effect on Friday 1 July 2016 when the 2016/17 financial year commences in Australia. Below we provide a summary of the changes and what they mean in...more

Are you on the right path with interns?

Scott Morrison’s first Federal Budget announced the creation of the ‘Youth Jobs PaTH’ (Prepare-Trial-Hire) program – a program designed to encourage up to 120,000 unemployed youth into the workforce through skills training...more

What lies beyond enterprise bargaining?

In 1993, the Keating government passed laws to move Australia towards a “system based primarily on bargaining at the workplace, with much less reliance on arbitration at the apex” (Laurie Brereton MP, Minister for Industrial...more

Employment Contract Taken To Task by Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission

Project contract goes out to tender. Contract is awarded. Contractor hires employees for contract work. Project comes to an end and contractor employees are terminated. It’s the circle of contractor life and a scenario we are...more

Roosters and Ducks: The High Court Rules on the Sham Contracting Provisions

Sham contracting protections do extend to triangular arrangements where employees are purportedly engaged as independent contractors via a third party such as a labour hire provider. The High Court in Fair Work Ombudsman v...more

A Thanksgiving Turkey or Should Employers be Grateful for Limited Reform?

It took more than two years but the first amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 under this Government, which passed both Houses of Parliament on 11 November 2015, came into effect on Friday 27 November 2015, coinciding with...more

Senate Passes "Circuit-Breaker" Greenfields Negotiations Amendments

The Senate yesterday passed amendments to the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) that, if accepted by the Government in the House of Representatives, will establish a new process for negotiating single-enterprise...more

Employment Update (Australia) It's Easy to Complain: General Protections

On 4 August 2015, the Federal Government's Productivity Commission (PC) released its draft report in relation to Australia's workplace relations framework (available here). In its report, the PC proposes the following...more

Australia: Tribunal Defines "Place of Work" for Off-Duty Misconduct Purposes, Finds Unfair Dismissal Due to Procedurally Defective...

Australia's Fair Works Commission ("FWC") recently handed down its decision in Keenan v. Leighton Boral Amey Joint Venture. In this case, the FWC defined "place of work" with respect to an employee's off-duty conduct, and...more

Whistleblowing: An Employer’s Guide To Global Compliance

In This Issue: - Foreword - A Summary Across Five Continents - Law and Sanctions - The Legislative Framework: Whistleblower Protections Across the Globe - Global Differences: The Cultural...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Employment and Industrial Laws (Updated)

EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL LAWS - TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT - Employment relationships in Australia are regulated at a number of levels and by a range of statutory and quasi-statutory instruments. Which...more

Full Federal Court Cleans Up the Mess on Light Brownfields Enterprise Agreements

The Full Court of the Federal Court (Court) has handed down its decision in Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v John Holland Pty Ltd [2015] FCAFC 16 (24 February 2015) which clarifies the approval process for...more

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