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Media releases

August 2019

Big Crisis For Small Business In Australia: Report

2 days ago , by Nicholas Hartman

There’s a small business crisis in Australia, according to the free market thinktank Institute of Public Affairs. The IPA is urging the Australian Government to cut red tape, make it easier to create jobs and cut taxes that discourage growth. Red tape “costs the Australian economy $176 billion a year”, according to the IPA, who…

Childcare Workers Push For A 45 Percent Wage Boost

2 days ago , by Leigh Johnston

University-educated preschool teachers could soon be earning more, with pay rises of up to 45 per cent, equating to a salary of up to $102,000 – if the Independent Education Union is successful in its submission to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). On the scale of industry pay rates, the proposed rates of pay for…

Court ruling a sweet win for shift workers

3 days ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A Federal Court ruling could have an impact on employees who work long shifts all around Australia, after two Cadbury workers won their case of how their sick leave should be calculated. The National Employment Standards, under which all workers in Australia are covered, requires all full-time employees to receive 10 days of personal leave…

Enterprise Agreements Plummet as Employers Abandon the System Altogether.

3 days ago

The Fair Work Commission have released recent data revealing enterprise agreement (EA) approvals have reduced significantly. Over the past six months to August, the data shows the median time for approving EAs has more than halved from its peak of 76 days to 35 days. Data also revealed the queue to have an agreement approved…

$12 Million CFMMEU Class Action Against Workpac

4 days ago , by Leigh Johnston

In September 2018, the federal court ruled in favour of a casual employee receiving paid leave entitlements in the WorkPac v Skene case – despite receiving casual loading on top of their base rate which is paid to offset not having access to permanent staff entitlements such as paid leave. Their decision was justified on…

Police Officer Faces Court Over Alleged Sexual Touching Incident At Staff Christmas Party

5 days ago , by Leigh Johnston

A NSW police officer who has served on the force for 25 years was in court yesterday, charged with allegedly grabbing the breast of a female colleague while at a staff Christmas after-party last year. Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Tarlington was suspended from his role as a Sergeant at Parramatta police area command after being charged with…

Liberal MPs Write Op-Ed In Support Of IR Reform

5 days ago , by Nicholas Hartman

Three Liberal Party backbenchers have written an op-ed in the Australian Financial Review calling for industrial relations reform. MPs Jason Falinski, Tim Wilson and Andrew Bragg begin their piece by stating that “Australia should never give up on creating an industrial relations system that boosts wages and jobs”. ‘Industrial relations reform is often seen as…

Blind And Autistic Worker Settles Wage Calculation Challenge

6 days ago , by Leigh Johnston

A disability employment services provider has reached an undisclosed settlement with a legally-blind worker in the Federal Court after he challenged the fairness of an assessment tool used to set his wages. The factory worker, known as Mr James was diagnosed as having high functioning autism and blindness was employed as a factory hand/assembly worker…

Media Company Overpays Staff

6 days ago , by Nicholas Hartman

West Australian Newspapers, the publisher of The West, one of WA’s three newspapers, paid more in redundancy entitlements than it planned to, adding an extra three months of pay to the packages made when voluntary redundancies were offered. West Australian Newspapers, owned by Seven West Media, made a two- to three-month transition period to some…

Reasonable Dismissal For Employee Who Told Manager, “You’re Dead”

1 week ago , by Nicholas Hartman

The Fair Work Commission has upheld the sacking of an employee for serious misconduct, including sexual harassment, the threatening of colleagues, misuse of the company credit card and the breach of safety policies. A former employee of a refrigeration company lodged an unfair dismissal claim after being terminated earlier this year. The employer dismissed the…

Fair Work Commission Urges Collaboration

1 week ago , by Leigh Johnston

The Head of the Fair Work Commission, Justice Iain Ross, has urged the opposing sides of industrial relations to get along, saying that they’re “shouting at each other across a crowded room in a different language”. Justice Ross’ call for consensus and civility comes in a month after the Business Council of Australia called for…

Crane Driver Charged After Fatal Workplace Accident

1 week ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A worker driving a crane that struck powerlines, electrocuting a co-worker, will appear in court in Queensland for allegedly operating a crane while disqualified. Police will allege that the driver, a 54-year-old from Cairns, did not have a valid licence when he was operating the crane on 28 July. The deceased, a 49-year-old man, was…

Human Rights Commission Plans To Amend Discrimination Law

1 week ago , by Leigh Johnston

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is taking final submissions, ahead of a conference in October 2019, on its recommendations to amend federal discrimination laws to insert new protected attributes, review coverage and exemptions and increase their powers. Among reform priorities set out in the paper, the AHRC recommends improving consistency between the state and…

Swearing Rants In Meeting Justify Sacking

2 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has upheld the dismissal of a storeperson who went on a swearing rant at his supervisors. Metcash summarily dismissed the employee in February 2019 for using his phone to record a conversation with his supervisor in an intrusive manner, contrary to the company’s code of conduct and electronic devices policy.…

Israel Folau and Rugby Australia Encouraged To Mediate By Judge

2 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A February 2020 trial may await Israel Folau and Rugby Australia if the two parties fail to resolve their differences, after a judge encouraged both parties to meet in the middle and settle their dispute. At a directions hearing this week Chief judge of the Federal Circuit Court, Will Alstergren, set a date of 13…

Labour Hire Company Taken To Court by FWO For Failing To Comply With Compliance Notice

2 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking a Western Australian labour hire company to court for allegedly failing to pay back $20,000 in unpaid wages to fruit packers. News.com.au reports that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has taken the labour hire company, as well as its chief executive, to the Federal Circuit Court. The FWO alleges…

Labor Senator Pushes Back On Call For Simpler, More Flexible Enterprise Bargaining Agreements

2 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A Labor Senator has hit out at a report that claims enterprise bargaining agreements should be simplified and made more flexible, saying that workers aren’t already receiving their fair share. The Business Council of Australia, which commissioned the report, released new research claiming that workers were better offer under simpler enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs). To…

Workers Battle Stress & Unsafe Workplaces, According To WHS Survey

2 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A survey has found that almost four out of five working Australians have been injured or become ill as a result of their work, and that half of workers have also experienced trauma or distressing situations at work. This is according to research of 26,000 people conducted by the Australian Council of Trade Unions in…

Calls Escalate to Reform Complex IR System.

2 weeks ago

Scott Morrison is facing growing pressure from his backbench and leading business groups to make meaningful changes to industrial relations laws amid warnings that the system is critically broken. In the past week alone, business groups such as Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s Kate Carnell, Small Business Association Australia’s Anne Nalder, and workplace specialist…

Demolition Company Fined $75,000 After Work Falls Through Skylight, Fractures Spine

2 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A demolition company has been fined $75,000 by the Melbourne Magistrates Court after one of their employees fell through a skylight while working on a house. The employee fell 2.5m onto a concrete floor, fracturing his spine and suffering serious head trauma and post traumatic amnesia. The court was told the worker fell through the…

Leading Small Business Groups Call to Increase Cost of Lodging Unfair Dismissal Claims.

2 weeks ago

Two leading voices for Australia’s small and medium sized businesses, Employsure and the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA), have today announced a new partnership to advocate two key areas of workplace reform. Ed Mallett, founder and Managing Director of Employsure, in partnership with CEO of SBAA Anne Nalder are joining forces to propose the…

Dentist Deliberately Disregarded Notice To Back-Pay, Penalised

2 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

The former operator of a dental practice based in Melbourne has been penalised $5,355 and ordered to back-pay a former 457 visa-holder $32,889 plus interest, following a second court order. The young dental technician was a Chinese national; who was being sponsored by the clinic on a 457 skilled worker visa. The worker was paid…

Australian Small Business And Family Enterprise Ombudsman Calls For Fair Dismissal Code Reform

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) yesterday handed down a comprehensive Review of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, recommending a suite of changes to help small business employers meet their obligations. Kate Carnell, from the ASBFEO said that “the interpretation of the Code has been challenged by lawyers and, on occasion,…

Employsure Supports Proposals for Reform of the Small Business Dismissal Code

3 weeks ago

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) yesterday released proposed changes to the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (the Code). Ed Mallett, founder and Managing Director of Employsure, welcomed the initiative of ASBEFO, Kate Carnell, in proposing the need for a revised Code for small businesses that find themselves caught up in the…

Bullying, Harassment, And Sexism Rampant In Australian Air Traffic Control

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A damning report has found Australia’s air travellers could be at risk because of a toxic culture of sexual harassment, rampant bullying and discrimination in the nation’s air traffic control centres. The report, written by former Federal Court justice Tony North QC, was provided to the board of federal agency Airservices Australia prompting calls for…

Push For More Transparent Workplace Safety Reporting

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A peak body representing Australian investors has called for more transparent reporting of workplace safety issues amongst Australia’s top companies. The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors released is ESG reporting by the ASX200 research this week, revealing 22 workplace deaths amongst listed companies. However, there is no requirement to report this information to the market.…

General Manager Acted Like A Pelican In Sacking Pelican Feeder – FWC

3 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A pelican feeder, who worked only one hour a week, has had his job reinstated by the Fair Work Commission as they found his dismissal was without valid reason and procedural fairness. Prior to having his employment terminated, the pelican feeder had been working at a fisherman’s co-op in southern Victoria for over 18 years.…

Legal Expert Makes Case For Wage Theft ‘Compensation Fund’

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A leading Adelaide legal expert has recommended a new statutory fund that would allow workers to seek compensation to recoup unpaid wages. Writing in the Adelaide Advertiser, Law Society of SA President Amy Nikolovski said that proposed laws to criminalise underpayment would only target the most severe cases, and tougher financial penalties on offending employers…

Queensland Government Proposing New Christmas Eve Holiday

3 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

The Queensland government is planning to make Christmas Eve a public holiday from 6pm to midnight, reports the Brisbane Times. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the public holiday would mean workers would receive penalty rates of 250 per cent if they were worked between those times. “The night before Christmas is as important to…

Another Popular Restaurant In Melbourne Under Investigation By FWO

3 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

One of Melbourne’s most popular restaurants is under investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for claims it underpaid its workers. However former staff of the restaurant and its restaurant group are fretting over the time it has taken by the FWO to get their money back, as the case has been going on for two…

Employsure named Employer of Choice

3 weeks ago

There is arguably no one doing more to place people at the forefront of workplaces across Australia and therefore, appropriate that Employsure was recognised as a Winner of the Australian Business Awards for Employer of Choice 2019. The Employer of Choice accolade recognises organisations which have developed workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through…

Fears That Ads For Massage Parlours Are Luring International Students Into Illegal Sex Industry

3 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

There are fears that advertisements for masseurs on a popular Chinese-language forum are luring vulnerable migrants into sexual exploitation. Promising wages of thousands of dollars per week, the ads on yeeyi.com are advertising jobs at massage parlours in suburbs all across Melbourne, including Dandenong, Stonnington, Kingston and Casey. One job on the website reads, “the…

FWO Surprise Audits On Melbourne Hospitality Businesses

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

Since the George Calombaris $7.8 million underpayment scandal news broke, hospitality employers around Australia have been put on notice to be vigilant around how they pay their staff. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) inspectors conducted surprise audits on several bars in Melbourne’s popular Chapel Street district this week to check the businesses were complying with…

Employer Emails Expecting Mum To Cancel Maternity Leave After Stillbirth

3 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

Forced to return to work and grieve in silence, an Australian woman who lost her child at 35 weeks, received an email from her employer saying she was no longer entitled to the 13 weeks paid maternity leave and the 12 months unpaid leave. She was forced to return to work after six weeks. Under…

Israel Folau Launches Court Case Against Rugby Australia Over Unlawful Termination

3 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

Israel Folau has lodged court proceedings for unlawful termination against Rugby Australia, according to the ABC. This development comes after the parties had an unsuccessful Fair Work Commission conciliation meeting. “Our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us,” Folau said, posting to his website. “Accordingly, I am today commencing…

July 2019

Long Commutes Negatively Impacting Workers – And They’re Only Getting Worse

4 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

Two things are getting on the nerves on Aussie workers. One is long commutes to and from work. The other is payroll mistakes made by their work. HRM reports that the recently released Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, based on 2017 data, found that the Australian workers are spending an average…

George Calombaris ‘Sorry’ For Underpayments

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

Celebrity chef George Calombaris says he is sorry for underpaying his restaurant staff and hopes he can now be a “voice for change” in the hospitality industry. ABC reports the interview, which will go to air tonight, shows the former MasterChef judge expressing contrition over the scandal – while also explaining his perspective on the…

Fixed-Term Contracts And Employment Of Women Rising, But Incomes Stagnating: Report

4 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

Casual contracts are declining, but fixed-term contracts are on the rise according to the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey (via the Australian Financial Review). Across all age groups, except for the youngest 15-25 age bracket, the amount casual contracts have decreased. The survey offers a rise in the amount of full-time…

Tradesman Convicted For Bullying Young Apprentice Workers

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A tradesman has been fined $6,000 for bullying two young apprentices, with verbal abuse, name-calling, swearing, belittling behaviour and threats. The man was convicted of failing to take reasonable care that his actions did not adversely affect the health and safety of two young workers. SafeWork Special Services Executive Director, Andrew Gavrielatos said the incident…

$75k Fine For Builder After Circular Saw Injury

4 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

A construction company in regional Queensland has been fined $75,000 after they were found to have failed to instruct a worker in how to safely use a circular saw, resulting in “him suffering serious physical and psychological injuries” according to Safety Solutions. The Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard that a 19-year-old worker suffered permanent hand injuries,…

MasterChef Winner Says There’s ‘No Excuse’ For Wage Theft

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A former MasterChef winner has turned up the heat on the hospitality sector, claiming that systemic underpayment of staff should attract prison sentences for employers. Speaking on the ABC’s Q&A program this week, series two winner Adam Liaw used strong terms to describe wage theft and said the prospect of jail time should be used…

SA Legal Services Commission Says More Than 50 Workers A Week Reporting Unfair Treatment

4 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

More than 50 South Australians are being unfairly treated at work, from underpayment wages to unlawful contracting, according to a report released by South Australia’s Legal Services Commission. The report, according to the Adelaide Advertiser, says that the Legal Services Commission (LSC) received 2765 inquiries in the 2018/19 financial year, up from 2501 the previous…

One Dead, Two In Hospital After Crane Comes Into Contact With Powerlines Near Cairns

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

A 49-year-old man has died after a crane came into contact with a powerlines. Two other men, believed to be the deceased’s co-workers, are also in hospital. At 9am yesterday, in Little Mulgrave 37km south of Cairns, the deceased passed away at the scene while being treated by paramedics. A co-worker was taken to Cairns…

Unions Advocate To Increase Casual Overtime Pay In Hospitality Sector

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

Unions are advocating to lift casual worker overtime pay by 25 per cent in hospitality businesses – but employer advocates warn it is a cost they cannot afford – only discouraging them to hire casuals. United Voice will on Monday put forward its case for the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to require employers to pay…

Small Business Groups Hit Back At Wage Theft Law Plans

4 weeks ago , by Nicholas Hartman

The Fair Work Commission’s president Justice Ian Ross has agreed with concerns raised by small business advocacy groups, such as Employsure, that the Australia’s workplace relations system is difficult to navigate. “I do think we can do more to assist small business to meet their obligations and I agree with the proposition that most small…

Underpayment Scandals Turn Spotlight On Hospo Sector

4 weeks ago , by Leigh Johnston

As celebrity chefs George Calombaris and Neil Perry deal with the fallout of underpayment scandals, Australia’s leading workplace relations consultancy is advising hospitality employers to be vigilant around how they pay their staff. The call comes after Calombaris was hit with a $7.8m underpayment bill, while Perry is facing legal action for the alleged underpayment…

Government Exploring Introduction of Wage Theft Laws: PM

25/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned employers who underpay or exploit workers in other ways may face jail time and criminal penalties, with his Government set to draft laws to criminalise what is termed wage theft. “Right now, the Attorney-General is drafting laws to deal with criminalising worker exploitation,” Morrison said in parliament during question…

SafeWork SA To Let Circus Resume Shows

25/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

A circus that was closed down after two of its performers were involved in serious accidents within four days has been given the greenlight by SafeWork SA to resume shows. An acrobat at the circus was injured last week when she slipped while performing a routine with a ring, falling ten metres to the ground…

Farm Safe Urges Farmers To Keep Safety Front Of Mind

24/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Despite increased awareness, farming continues to have the highest rate of fatal injury of all main industry sectors. While many Australian farmers are struggling with drought, Farm Safe says the last thing farmers need is for a worker, visitor, family member or themselves to be seriously injured or killed. And the message from Farm Safe…

Circus Temporarily Shut Down After Two Serious Injuries To Performers In 4 Days

24/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

A circus in Adelaide has been shutdown by South Australia’s work health and safety watchdog after a two serious accidents at the show. The circus has confirmed both incidents. SafeWork SA auditors issued nine prohibition notices, according to the ABC, finding issues with the rigging, winches, electrical equipment and proper trade licensing. An acrobat at…

Day Spa Underpays 13 Employees A Total Of $65,939.87

23/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

The operator of a popular spa centre in Sydney has been ordered to back-pay $65,939.87 to 13 employees, after admitting he made unlawful deductions from their salary, underpaid penalty rates, and underpaid annual leave entitlements. The FWO investigated the spa operator after receiving multiple requests for assistance from two skilled 457 visa holders, who alleged…

Educational Silicosis Roadshow To Travel Around New South Wales

23/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

SafeWork NSW will travel around the state with its Silica Roadshow, educating workers and regional centres about the dangers of working with products containing silica. The Silica Roadshow will start in Orange on 6 August, before visiting Liverpool, in south-western Sydney, Ballina, Newcastle, Tamworth and Queanbeyan between August and October. SafeWork NSW has a full…

Construction Workers Face Fines Of $42,000 For Walking Off Job

23/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

66 construction workers are facing individual fines of up to $42,000 after staging an unlawful one-day strike at a luxury apartment project, AFR reports. The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is prosecuting the workers as it claims they decided to take out a stop-work action over the removal of Construction, Forestry, Manufacturing, Mining and…

Secret Audio Recordings Denied As Evidence In Bullying Case

22/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

An employee found to have made several “false” allegations has been denied the opportunity to use secretly obtained audio recordings of a meeting as evidence in a bullying case that is to be heard in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) today. The employee formally requested to have her secret audio recording of a meeting with her…

Chef Suing Upmarket Restaurant Group For Underpayment, Mistreatment

22/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

One of Australia’s largest upmarket restaurant groups is facing its first high-profile legal claims of underpayment. The Sunday Age reports that a chef is claiming that the restaurant group underpaid him over a six-year span. The press release by his lawyers claim he was requested to work up to 70 hours a week, but only…

Israel Folau Expected To Take Unlawful Termination Case To Federal Court After Unsuccessful Mediation

22/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

Israel Folau’s unlawful termination case against Rugby Australia looks set to move onto the Federal Court, with the potential for a vast reaching changes to Australian laws. Permission to take the case to the Federal Court was granted by the Fair Work Commission, who issued a certificate granting the right to do so. Folau and…

Coles Employee Notified Of His Dismissal Almost Two Years After Working

19/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has refused to grant a 1,383-day extension to a casual Coles employee who was notified of his dismissal almost two years after working his last shift in 2014 but failed to contest it in time. The worker contended that his former employer, Coles dismissed him in July last year, when it…

Neil Perry’s Restaurant To Be Investigated By FWO

19/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

Another celebrity chef’s restaurant empire may face the same fate as MADE Establishment, whose court-enforceable undertaking (EU) was made public yesterday. That EU includes $7.8 million in back-payments for previously underpaid wages and a $200,000 donation to the Commonwealth Consolidated Fund. The Age reports that this restaurant empire is currently “subject of a Fair Work…

George Calombaris Responds To Underpayment Case

19/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

George Calombaris says there’s “no excuse” for his restaurant group underpaying it’s staff but he rejects accusations of wage theft. Yesterday MADE Establishment, Calombaris’ restaurant business, had their court-enforceable undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman made public. On top of their $7.8 million back-payment to staff, MADE also had to make a $200,000 contrition…

Union Concerned UberEats Will Make Drivers Responsible For “Elements Outside Of Their Control”

18/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

The Transport Workers Union is concerned an adverse finding against UberEats might result in Uber placing more pressure on the service’s delivery drivers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ruled that UberEats’ refund terms with its restaurant partners were unfair, as it made those partners “responsible and financially liable for elements outside of…

Restaurant Group Owes Workers $7.8m

18/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

A large restaurant group in Melbourne has back-paid workers $7.8 million in wages, entitlements and superannuation, after a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation uncovered non-compliance. MADE establishment, which operates five restaurants in Melbourne, has entered into a court-enforceable undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) after admitting it underpaid 524 workers between 2011 and 2017.…

NSW Hospital Staff To Strike Over Workplace Safety

17/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Public hospital workers in NSW will go on strike in response to a dispute with the State Government over the security of staff. More than 22,000 employees will stop work for four hours on 1 August, fighting for increased security at metro hospitals. The NSW Health Services Union is calling for an additional 250 security…

Overworked And Underpaid Nanny Owed More Than $155,000

17/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has launched proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that a Sydney businessman, underpaid a nanny and domestic worker from the Philippines up to $155,178. The FWO alleges that the businessman required the nanny to work between 88 and 106 hours each week between May 2016 and May 2017, breaching Australia’s…

Australia’s Minimum Wage Now Highest In The World

16/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Workers on the minimum wage in Australia officially have more purchasing power than those in any other country in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures for 2018 released this week. The OECD updated its real minimum wage rankings this week to place Australia in the top spot for…

Employee Fired For Poor Performance Awarded $17,500

16/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

An employee at a logistics company has been awarded $17,500 in compensation after the Fair Work Commission held that his dismissal, although valid, was incorrect. Smart Company reports that instead of being dismissed for misconduct, the FWC held that the employee should be dismissed for poor performance. The employee’s failures were “mistakes” from a lack…

IR Reform Isn’t Need In Says Columnist In The Australian

16/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

Industrial relations reform isn’t needed. That’s according to The Australian columnist Katrina Grace Kelly, who argues that the Fair Work Act has provided unheralded stability in the work place arena. “The Fair Work Act has been in place for a decade, and consider what it has bequeathed,” Kelly writes. “Stability; years and years of moderate…

New Research: 95 Per Cent Of SME Owners Are Always In Work Mode

15/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Most small business owners think of their businesses as their babies, especially when they love what they do. That’s why it can be so challenging to get away from work – and now there’s new research released highlighting the challenges small and medium enterprise (SME) owners face trying to take time off from their business.…

Report: Temporary Skilled Migrants Are A “Overwhelmingly Net Positive” To Australian Economy

15/7/2019 , by Nicholas Hartman

Skilled migrants, especially those on temporary visas, have been “overwhelmingly net positive” to the Australian economy. That’s according to a report released today by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). Migrants have “not had a negative impact on either the wages or participation rates of Australian-born workers,” according to the report, found…

Employers Can’t Turn A Blind Eye To Bullying

12/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Workplace bullying is a serious health and wellbeing issue and employers are being urged to ensure they are taking adequate steps to prevent it in their workplaces. The call comes after new data published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence surveying 3000 healthcare sector workers found that 20% had been victims of workplace mobbing, with…

Michael Hill Caught Out In Up To $25 Million Underpayments Over Six Years

12/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

By Nick Hartman Retail giant Michael Hill – with over 300 stores across Australia, New Zealand, and Canada is facing a $10 million to $25 million hit to their profit after the company discovered it underpaid staff by up to $25 million over the past six years. The underpayment was revealed in an update issued…

Employee Warned After Tweeting in Support of Staff Facing Penalty Rate Cuts

11/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

An employee for a book publisher has been given a “first and final warning” after tweeting in support of bookshop staff who are facing a possible penalty rate cut, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The employee, an editor, sent out the tweet on 26 June. The tweet said ‘‘Staff from the publishing industry stand with…

Retailers Push For Staff Flexibility

11/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Retail groups are calling for greater flexibility to offer part-time staff extra hours at short notice without incurring overtime payments as the Morrison government announced reviews Australian workplace laws.Senior Employment Relations Adviser at Employsure, Michael Wilkinson says the push for flexibility in retail is a result of, “changing customer demands for convenience and round the…

Wage Rise Accelerates Across Banking, Retail and Fast Food Sectors – But SMEs Still Hardest Hit

10/7/2019 , by Leigh Johnston

Wage growth appears to be picking up with banks, retail and fast-food giants promising pay increases for most workers in newly negotiated enterprise agreements. The wage rises covering some of Australia’s biggest employers such as Westpac, ANZ, Officeworks, major fast food operators, and national retailers have seen increases of 3 per cent or more in…

Dockers Go On Strike

10/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

Up to 2,000 dock workers across the nation will go on strike on today, for up to three days, protesting lost conditions in their wage agreement, outsourcing of labour and to project cuts related to automation, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. 300 workers in Brisbane downed tools on Monday, joined by 600 Melbourne workers…

Government: Benefits to Economy Will Be Focus of IR Reform

10/7/2019 , by Nick Hartman

“The Morrison government will conduct a review of workplace laws, according to SBS, saying that they will focus on changes that make the economy stronger. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter is reviewing a wide range of industrial laws, including the definition of casual employment and unfair dismissal rules. “Our focus, as a government, is what…

Employee Wins Payout After Humiliating ‘Disability’ Accusation

9/7/2019

An employee criticised as being ‘ungrateful’ for securing a restaurant job despite her disability has won $12,500 in compensation for the hurt and humiliation she experienced during her dismissal. The part-time employee who was employed for a total of 12 weeks and two days by the Brisbane restaurant told the Federal Circuit Court she had…

Workplace Relations System Review Will Take Vision, Leadership

9/7/2019

The founder of Australia’s largest workplace relations consultancy has urged the Morrison Government to be courageous in delivering the workplace relations system review, and to consider changes that give small business owners and employers greater certainty and confidence to grow. Managing Director of Employsure Ed Mallett said that the proposed review could help reduce the…

Luxury Hotel Group Accused Of Underpaying Migrant Workers

8/7/2019

A luxury hotel group is being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman and Department of Home Affairs after an investigation by the Sun-Herald uncovered underpayments to migrant workers, mainly from India, Vietnam and the Philippines, including unpaid overtime and inflated rent. The FWO raided the hotel group’s Blue Mountains operations last month and found that…

Employsure Supports Six-step Plan To Tackle Workplace Relations System Review

8/7/2019

Employsure has thrown its support behind the six-step proposal outlined by the AI Group and the Australian Mines and Metals Association as a way to tackle the coming Workplace Relations System Review. The proposals, outlined in The Australian, present a common sense approach to reviewing Australia’s workplace relations laws, according to Employsure Founder and Managing…

WHS: Tomfoolery At Queensland Mine Leaves Employee With Broken Shoulder And Depression

7/7/2019

A mining company is facing court in Queensland after an ex-exmployee filed a lawsuit claiming a “tomfoolery” incident ended in significant mental and physical injury. The claimant, who was working as a shot firer at Suraji mine in Dysart, Central Queensland, claims she has a left shoulder rotator cuff injury, left ulna neuropathy, a major…

Safe Work Australia Proposes To Adopt Updated GHS Under The Model WHS Laws

6/7/2019

Safe Work Australia (SWA) is conducting a public consultation on the proposal to adopt the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) for workplace hazardous chemicals. The GHS is a single internationally agreed system of chemical classification and hazard communication through labelling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Currently…

Employers Must Take Action To Prevent Silicosis: Employsure

5/7/2019

The emerging silicosis crisis affecting various parts of the building and construction industry is an urgent wake up call for affected employers to adopt and enforce safe work policies and procedures, according to Australia’s leading workplace relations consultancy, Employsure. In response to the issue, Employsure has developed workplace policies specifically dealing with silica and is…

ABCC Recovers $1m In Backpay For Construction Workers And Tradies

5/7/2019

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has announced it has recovered $1 million in wages for 1400 workers. The construction industry watchdog audited 350 employers and undertook 100 investigations into alleged underpayments. ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said these findings were a reminder to the industry to make sure they were paying their employees the…

Guns, Knives and Violence: The Darker Dangers Of Workplace Safety Laid Bare

4/7/2019

Recent reports of hospital emergency staff being threatened with guns, knives and acts of violence are a troubling trend in the medical and emergency sector, and highlight the difficulties some employers face in creating safe working environments for their staff. According the Australia’s leading workplace relations consultancy Employsure, the issue indicates the complex problems facing…

Employer Can Request Claustrophobic Tradie To Work In Enclosed Spaces

4/7/2019

The Fair Work Commission has ruled that a business in the elevator industry can require an employee, with severe claustrophobia, to work in a confined space. A long-term employee of an elevator company was hired in 1996 as a trades assistant. In 2002 an incident occurred to the employee, where he was trapped in a…

More Sunday Penalty Rates Cuts Come Info Effect This Week

3/7/2019

Australia’s reduction in Sunday penalty rates will continue this week, affecting permanent and casual employees in the General Retail Industry, Hospitality Industry (General), Fast Food Industry and Pharmacy Industry Awards. These cuts are part of a long-term reduction in Sunday penalty rates. Staggered over a number of years, this week’s changes will be the last…

38-hour Weeks Cemented Into Hair & Beauty Award

3/7/2019

Today, 3 July 2019, there will be rostering changes to the Hair & Beauty Award 2010. These changes have been introduced to ‘simplify’ the rostering provisions provided in the Award, according to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The Award now details in the ‘Notification of Rosters’ clause how employers can set out rosters, over a…

Fair Work Commission Clears Manager Of Bullying

2/7/2019

In a recent ruling, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has thrown out a bullying claim from an employment consultant who felt bullied by his manager’s approach to a colleague’s “dad jokes” and accused his manager of sexually harassing him by touching his shoulder. The National Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) consultant accused his manager of subjecting…

FWC: Sacking An Employee By Text “Unnecessarily Callous.”

2/7/2019

A Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing has ruled that an employer, who sacked an employee over text, as having a “disregard for basic human dignity”. A security guard, working for AFS Security, was sent a text saying, “Effective immediately we no longer require your services”, by the payroll manager, also the company director’s wife. After…

The Israel Folau vs Rugby Australia Dispute Exposes The Blurred Lines Of Social Media And Work

1/7/2019

The ongoing dispute between Israel Folau and Rugby Australia is headed to the Federal Court after the parties failed to agree to terms at a Fair Work Commission conciliation hearing last week. The coming legal proceedings promise to be one of Australia’s most compelling workplace relations cases. And while everyone seems to have an opinion,…

New Laws And Changes To Your Business Starting Today

1/7/2019

One financial year is over and today marks the new financial year – initiating a host of changes. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s changing and how it may impact your business. Minimum wage and Awards have increased. The national minimum wage will be increasing by 3 percent from the first full pay…

June 2019

Employsure Welcomes Workplace Relations System Review.

25/6/2019

Employsure’s founder and managing director, Ed Mallett has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Australian government will take a fresh look at refreshing the workplace relations system. “The federal government’s intention to review the workplace relations system is encouraging for the 24,000 small businesses we represent across Australia,” Mr Mallett said. “The overwhelming view…

Employsure Continues Expansion with New Brisbane Office

3/6/2019

As a result of continued business growth, Employsure has opened a new major office in Brisbane. The new office space at 180 Ann Street, Brisbane City comes complete with uniquely Brisbane features, including light-filled meeting rooms and spacious workspaces. The office was officially opened last month by Employsure managing director Ed Mallett and celebrated with…

May 2019

New minimum wage announced – yearly wage bill up by at least $2.2 billion.

30/5/2019

The Fair Work Commission delivered its annual wage review today. This decision will have a significant impact on all businesses and industries and over 2.2 million employees who are paid at the National Minimum Wage or minimum Modern Award rates. From the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2019: All Modern Award rates…

Employsure Named an Employer Of Choice in HRD Awards 2019.

8/5/2019

Employsure have been recognised for an exceptional culture and outstanding work across diversity and inclusion, access to technology, and recruiting and onboarding; in a total of four categories in the annual HRD Employer of Choice Awards. HRD’s annual survey, which rates Australian organisations from the perspective of their employees, assesses a wide range of key…

April 2019

Frank Digital Agency Appointed by Employsure to Roll Out Digital Platform.

15/4/2019

Digital product agency Frank Digital has been appointed by Employsure, the largest provider of workplace relations services in Australia, to redesign and rebuild its digital platform following a competitive pitch. Employsure provides small and medium sized (SMEs) business owners with a full suite of services across employment relations and health and safety: 24/7 access to…

Employers brace for 10-day public holiday and Easter break

4/4/2019

Thanks to the schedule of 2019 public holidays Senior Employment Relations Adviser from Employsure, James Houghton says, “2019 may be the year working Australians will get smarter at using their annual leave, thanks to the number of public holidays that fall close together between Easter and Anzac Day.”   Since Good Friday is on April…

March 2019

How the state and federal election will impact retailers.

26/3/2019

The retail industry in particular is likely to be hugely impacted by the federal election outcome. Employsure explains in Retail Biz. The Coalition’s return to power in the NSW state election will give retailers stability in coming years, and might even provide a welcome sales boost, while the federal election could see big changes ahead,…

Election showdown over workplace relations explained

20/3/2019

The Federal Election looms large with stark differences on key workplace relations policies between the majority parties. Everything from the minimum wage, penalty rates, casual work, migrant workers, and more, is on the table. Employsure’s Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Nicholas Hackenberg sheds a light on the showdown expected in May 2019: “Opposition leader Bill Shorten has tried…

Tips on managing your employees.

13/3/2019

Without the luxury of a HR department, many small businesses owners are left to manage bullying investigations themselves, which can quickly derail day-to-day operations. This is where our expert advice puts clients in the best position to resolve the issue with little or no impact on their business. One of the highlights about being a…

More women than men are discouraged to ask for a pay rise.

1/3/2019

Based on the findings of new research released by Employsure, HR expert Jessica Everitt says employers can take positive steps to help defeat the gender pay gap.   An employee approaching you for a quick conversation to request a pay rise is a familiar scenario for most employers. According to new survey findings from the Employsure State…

February 2019

Why finding ‘great’ people versus ‘okay’ people makes all the difference.

12/2/2019

Your business is doing well, and it’s time to find someone to help you with running operations or another addition to the team. Whatever the circumstances, inviting someone to work in your business can at times feel scary. Who can you trust? Who is worthy? Will they work hard? Do they understand how important your…

Employee entitlements during natural disasters or emergencies

4/2/2019

  Australia can experience a variety of natural disasters and wild weather conditions, such as floods, bushfires, tropical cyclones, and severe storms. These events can cause devastation and major disruptions to the people, businesses, and workplaces that are affected.   What if employees cannot attend work due to a natural disaster or emergency?   According…

January 2019

Small businesses encouraged to check penalty rates ahead of Australia Day.

21/1/2019

Small businesses are encouraged to plan for the upcoming Australia Day public holiday by checking Enterprise Agreements and penalty rates. This year, Australia Day falls on a Saturday, which means the recognised public holiday is Monday, January 28. Employsure’s senior employment relations adviser, Jonathan Wilson said Saturday was not considered a public holiday and therefore…

Hot weather prompts workplace warnings.

17/1/2019

With temperatures steadily rising, employers are being urged to implement a plan to prevent their workers from succumbing to heat stress and illness. According to Employsure the current extreme weather conditions can cause serious problems for workers. “Heat can reduce concentration, judgment and reaction time causing a potential increase in the risk of worker injury. These concerns…

How to protect employees from heat stress.

8/1/2019

Soaring temperatures across Australia have seen some regions reach close to 50C. Consequently, it’s important for employers to have plans in place to prevent staff suffering when working in the heat. The consequences of not addressing heat stress include reduced concentration, judgment and reaction time, causing a potential increase in the risk of worker injury,…

December 2018

How to avoid Christmas party pitfalls.

11/12/2018

Tis the season to be jolly, but that can spell big trouble when it comes to workplace festivities. “People have said and done all sorts of regrettable things that have impacted their career by forgetting the Christmas party is actually work time,” warns Emily Haworth, Employsure senior employment adviser. “The bottom line is, no matter how much…

Six million Australians entitled to domestic violence leave.

7/12/2018

Up to six million Australians will soon have access to a guaranteed entitlement of five days’ unpaid family and domestic violence leave following the passing of the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill in Parliament last night.   Senior Employment Relations Adviser, from workplace specialist firm Employsure, Andrew Spiteri says, “This Bill…

November 2018

New flexible work laws: what employers need to know.

27/11/2018

The Fair Work Commission announced important changes to flexible work for millions of workers across all industries. From 1 December 2018, employers will need to make a genuine attempt to reach an agreement on flexible work arrangements and provide detailed reasons for refusals.   Senior Employment Relations Adviser from Employsure, Michael Wilkinson says, “While workers…

November 1 marks major compliance changes.

1/11/2018

A number of new rules and processes will take effect from 1 November, with business leaders urged to know where they stand or risk falling afoul of the law. While some are relevant only to particular industries or geographic locations, others will impact businesses of every description. New retail penalty rates Potentially the biggest change…

October 2018

Changes to long service leave entitlements roll out in Victoria.

31/10/2018

Significant changes to employee entitlements will roll out in Victoria on November 1, 2018, impacting small business owners. Victoria’s new Long Service Leave Act 201, updates the existing ACT and also applies to companies who are based outside of Victoria but have staff employed in Victoria. Key changes include: . Employees will be able to…

Businesses reminded to act immediately before Christmas season shutdown.

12/10/2018

Businesses planning to shutdown across the festive season need to confirm close dates and notify staff in accordance with Award requirements now. Senior Employment Relations Adviser from Employsure, Roseanne Huskie, said, “The most important step is to check the conditions relating to your right to send employees on an annual close down. This will depend…

Retailers caught in the penalty rate yo-yo.

3/10/2018

Over 350,000 casual retail employees will now receive an increased penalty rate for Saturday work as announced by Fair Work President Justice Iain Ross yesterday. The first rate increase is 15 per cent from 1 November 2018, with the rates going up five per cent annually until March 2020. According to Senior Employment Relations Adviser…

Money alone won’t resolve aged care crisis.

1/10/2018

According to the Aged Care Workforce Strategy report, commissioned by the Federal Government, nurses and personal care workers in the aged-care sector should be given pay rises that match “their value and contribution” on the front line in supporting older Australians. However, Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Edmund Fry, from Employsure says there are two underlying issues in…

September 2018

Employsure win HR Team of the Year at Australian HR Awards 2018

10/9/2018

Employsure’s string of accolades illustrates people are at the heart of any successful business. Employsure has been recognised for its exceptional culture and outstanding work in recruiting and onboarding, taking out HR team of the Year at the prestigious Australian HR Awards on Friday night. The Head of Talent at Employsure Michael Morris sits at…

August 2018

A fair system for all – what about small business?

15/8/2018

The rules around sick leave for more than a million shift workers have been challenged and sparked intervention from the federal government. Now, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) must correct the “misleading advice” it has been giving to employers, which the Fair Work Commission had contradicted. Ed Mallett, founder and managing director of workplace relations…

July 2018

How one of Australia’s youngest and fastest growing companies became an Employer of Choice.

27/7/2018

Head of Talent, Michael Morris shares Five key ingredients for becoming an Employer of Choice. Workplace specialist start up firm, Employsure is one of the youngest companies to be named an Aon Hewitt Best Employer 2018. This year’s Aon Best Employers study was conducted with of more than 103,236 employees across 143 organisations. Granting employees…

June 2018

Small business hardest hit by rising minimum wage.

1/6/2018

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) today delivered its annual wage review – the highest percentage we’ve seen since 2011. This decision will have a significant impact on all businesses and industries and over 2.3 million employees who are paid at the National Minimum Wage or minimum Modern Award rates. From the first full pay period commencing on…

May 2018

Budget 2018 ‘a fizzer’ for SMEs.

10/5/2018

Tax cuts loom large in post Budget 2018 discussion, but the backbone of the Australian economy, small business, didn’t make the cut.   Ed Mallett, Managing Director of SME workplace advisory firm Employsure, said, “There isn’t much in the 2018 budget to excite SMEs. A continuation of tax cuts from previous years just doesn’t cut…

April 2018

Avoid paying too much or too little from 1 July.

30/4/2018

From 1 July, retail, hospitality, pharmacy, and food businesses will see a drop in penalty rates following the Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision last year. This will be the second year of penalty rate changes by removing the variance between Sunday and Saturday rates. The first round of penalty rate cuts occurred in 2017, which…

March 2018

NSW employers no longer able to discriminate against pregnant job seekers.

8/3/2018

NSW Parliament has repealed a law that allowed employers to fire or refuse to hire women who knew they were pregnant when applying for a job today. The reform brings New South Wales in line with other states and territories as well as Commonwealth law. Senior HR Manager at Employsure Jess Van Der Walt welcomes…

December 2017

Controversial overtime penalty rates from 1 January

14/12/2017

Earlier this year employers welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision to cut penalty rates for Sunday and public holiday rates in the retail and hospitality industries. Now, the FWC is making another wave of changes that Senior Employment Relations Adviser of Employsure Andrew Spiteri says is “yet another financial burden on industries running on…

November 2017

Healthcare industry at high risk.

10/11/2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has put the healthcare industry on notice saying that even though compliance rates are improving, there is still cause for concern. It comes as the FWO recovered more than $109,295 unpaid wages from 696 audits across the medical services, allied health services and residential care services sectors. Businesses included GPs,…

Hospitality under the Fair Work spotlight.

2/11/2017

Despite the hospitality industry employing only 7 per cent of Australia’s workforce, it accounted for the highest number of disputes (17 per cent) according to Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) 2016-17 data. The industry also had the highest number of anonymous reports received (36 per cent), the highest number of infringement notices issued (39 per cent)…

October 2017

Research shows lack of bullying knowledge a risk for employers.

27/10/2017

Only 1 in 2 Australian employers understand the legal requirements and have a defined action plan to address bullying according to Employsure’s Workplace Safety Index. This figure dips even further in businesses with 2-4 employees, with only 40% knowing how to manage and address bullying in the workplace. In general, the average bullying case amounts…

New laws to tackle franchise worker exploitation.

16/10/2017

Major changes to the franchise sector will take effect this Friday 27 October following the FWO’s commitment to tackle vulnerable worker exploitation. It comes as nearly half (49%) of the Fair Work Ombudsman cases this year involved a visa holder and over $1.4 million in underpayments were recovered for young workers. Senior Workplace Relations Adviser…

September 2017

Higher penalties and liabilities for all employers.

16/9/2017

The Government introduced harsher penalties for employers who fail to comply with the Fair Work Act and keep wage records in the Senate earlier in September. Under the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017, employers can face penalties by up to 10 times for a new category of ‘serious contraventions’. Senior Employment Relations Adviser…

June 2017

The highest minimum wage increase since 2011 – what does this mean for small business?

6/6/2017

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) today delivered its annual wage review. This decision will have a significant impact on all businesses and industries and over 2.3 million employees who are paid at the National Minimum Wage or minimum Modern Award rates. From the first full pay period commencing after 1 July 2017: all Modern Award rates will…

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