Dismissal for mandatory vaccination refusal upheld

In a decision which will no doubt be welcomed by employers in the residential aged care sector, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has this week denied permission for an employee in that sector to appeal a decision that she was not unfairly dismissed after refusing an influenza vaccination.[1]  [...]

2021-09-28T14:16:55+10:00September 28th, 2021|

Posters of public content on social media liable in defamation as ‘publishers’

The High Court of Australia has dismissed an appeal[1] by media outlets Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd, Nationwide News Pty Limited and Australian News Channel Pty Ltd and confirmed that each of the appellants "published" comments made by third -party Facebook users on links shared on their public profiles.  Accordingly, they [...]

2021-09-14T11:32:26+10:00September 14th, 2021|

Mandating vaccinations and mask-wearing at work: continuing uncertainty despite new guidance

Understandably, many Australian employers are confused about what they can and can't do when it comes to requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or taking other measures, such as requiring employees to wear masks in the workplace.  Robust workplace protections for employees means that most Australian employers are conflicted between [...]

2021-08-13T11:31:01+10:00August 13th, 2021|

Rossato case – High Court rules on casuals

In what is largely a victory for common sense, the High Court has overturned on appeal the Federal Court's May 2020 decision in WorkPac v Rossato[1] that a worker employed as a casual and paid a casual loading was nevertheless entitled to non-casual employment entitlements. Background The 2020 Rossato decision followed [...]

2021-08-06T10:55:49+10:00August 6th, 2021|

Government amends Corporations Act to provide temporary practical COVID relief to companies

With effect from Monday 5 May 2020, the Treasurer amended certain provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) to provide companies with welcome flexibility in how they may hold their meetings and execute documents electronically whilst individuals are subject to social distancing mandates. The amendments will operate for 6 [...]

2020-05-07T12:25:54+10:00May 7th, 2020|

An overview of the COVIDSafe app

Yesterday the Prime Minister reiterated the government's goal of having 16 million downloads of the COVIDSafe app as a primary means of tracking the progression of the COVID-19 virus. At today's date, only 5 million users have downloaded the app, indicating that the community is wary or unsure of the app, [...]

2020-05-06T09:20:46+10:00May 6th, 2020|

National Code of Conduct for Leases

Introduction National Cabinet has published a code of conduct for leasing to apply during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic (defined by the period during which the Jobkeeper programme is operational) and a reasonable recovery period after the pandemic ends (referred to in this note as the 'moratorium period'). There is [...]

2020-04-17T14:11:17+10:00April 17th, 2020|

JobKeeper Payment Rules

Introduction The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules (Rules) were released over the last weekend. These Rules set out the things that the Treasurer is permitted to do under the framework of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package legislation. Employer's entitlement The Rules determine which employees (defined as eligible employees [...]

2020-04-17T14:04:01+10:00April 17th, 2020|

FWA amendments: more options for employers eligible for JobKeeper payments

We have recently provided updates on temporary variations made to some modern awards and the proposed introduction of additional measures such as pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a further response, the Federal parliament has now passed the Coronavirus Economic Response Package [...]

2020-05-19T08:43:15+10:00April 15th, 2020|

The FWC on the front foot: “Pandemic leave” and annual leave at half pay

On 1 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) released a statement proposing to temporarily vary 103 Awards (on the Commission's initiative) to include an entitlement to unpaid "pandemic leave" and to include the flexibility for employees to take annual leave at half pay. Pandemic leave This measure is designed to [...]

2020-04-03T10:15:31+10:00April 3rd, 2020|
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