News

Shutting down over Christmas/New Year

Andrew Schoenfeld

Are you shutting down over Christmas/New Year? Employees need to be given up to 2 months’ notice in some industries. Is your workplace ready? Check our info on shut down rules and directing employees to take leave. An employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down if their award or registered agreement allows it. Most awards have rules about how and when an employer can direct an employee to take leave. For example, an employer may need to give the employee a set amount of notice (eg. 4 weeks) that they will need to take annual...

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Important New Employment Laws

Andrew Schoenfeld

Good Morning all, As we are receiving numerous requests from our clients of the new employment laws relating to: Casual employees right to convert to permanent Casuals deemed worker through continuous service Long service leave changes in Victoria Long Service Leave for casual and seasonal employees What information has to be on a pay slip We have sought clear advice from a leading Barrister to inform and educate our clients on what the law says about statutory entitlements. This is a lengthy email, yes, “War and Peace”, but if you want to ensure your are applying the legal requirements when...

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Reducing salaries. Can you do it?

Andrew Schoenfeld

Good Afternoon, Some employers may look at reducing employees’ salaries or bonuses in tough financial times as an alternative to terminating staff. However, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding whether it could be considered a breach of contract, or a violation of employee’s workplace rights. Can you reduce an employee’s salary? Awards, enterprise agreements and the National Employment Standards (NES) set minimum standards of pay. It would therefore, certainly be a breach of the National Minimum Wage Oder if an employer reduced an employee’s salary to less than the minimum weekly rate. Employers should always review their employee’s employment...

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Recent case a reminder that managers can be personally liable for workplace breaches

Andrew Schoenfeld

Recent case a reminder that managers can be personally liable for workplace breaches Managers who are aware of breaches of workplace laws in their business may be personally liable for those contraventions, even if they did all they reasonably could to try to fix the breach, according to a recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. In the decision of Fair Work Ombudsman v Priority Matters Pty Ltd & Ors (No 4) [2019] FCCA 56, the Court found that two directors were liable for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) by being “involved” in...

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The Carrot and the Stick: The Tricky Issue of Appropriate Disciplinary Action by Employers

Andrew Schoenfeld

Good Morning, Disciplinary action for poor or inappropriate performance is all too often seen in very one-dimensional terms. Often, it can be a fantastic opportunity for the business to address difficult issues in a constructive and ultimately extremely cost effective way. However, in most circumstances the use of warnings serves only to alienate and disincentivise employees, to the extent that they either leave the business or the business terminates the employment. When it comes to disciplinary action in the workplace, it is our experience that many employers seem to limit themselves to the use of only warnings or dismissal even...

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