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Reducing salaries. Can you do it?

Posted by Andrew Schoenfeld on

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

Posted by Andrew Schoenfeld on

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

Posted by Andrew Schoenfeld on

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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