Employment Law

Ex-employees and IP protection

The importance of protecting your intellectual property cannot be overstated.  Various threats are posed to the confidentiality and exclusive use a company enjoys with their intellectual property.  One (1) such threat is when an employee, informed of the company’s intellectual property, ceases to be an employee of the company.  How can you protect your company’s intellectual property from this ex-employee? [Read more…]

What is a franked dividend?

There are two concepts in paying dividends that business people must know – franking credits and dividend yield.  The concept of dividend yield means the financial ratio that measures the quantum of dividends paid to shareholders relative to the market value per share.  The dividend yield is more desirable when franking credits are included.  Part IIIAA of the Income Tax Assessment Act  1936 (Cth)(Act) deals with legal aspects of franking of dividends, including what constitutes franking and company requirements for dividend statements to shareholders. This article discusses what a franked dividend is, the types of franked dividends, how they work and dividend imputation. [Read more…]

International companies can be bound by Australian privacy laws

The recent determination by the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angele Falk, (Commissioner) in Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Uber Technologies, Inc. & Uber B.V. (Privacy) [2021] AICmr 34 (Uber) provides further guidance on the extraterritorial connection of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) though the ‘Australian link’ set out in subsections 5B(2)-(3) (Australian Link).  This article discusses how the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC) will assess whether an entity has an Australian Link to legally bind international entities to the Act. [Read more…]

High Court clarifies meaning of casual employment

In WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2021] HCA 23 (WorkPac) the High Court has overturned the decision of the Full Federal Court and confirmed that a casual employee is an employee who does not have a firm advance to continuing and indefinite work.  Such employment has to be assessed with respect to written contractual obligations of the parties, rather than the entirety of the relationship based on the conduct of the parties. [Read more…]

Costs in unfair dismissal applications – part 4

Previous articles by Dundas Lawyers have looked at the difficulties confronted in obtaining a costs order against an unsuccessful party in an unfair dismissal application (Application).  To recap, section 611(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) holds that a party to an Application, be it the complainant employee or the respondent employer, must bear its own costs in relation to a matter before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  However, there are circumstances when the other side’s costs can be imposed on a party to an Application.  This article outlines these circumstances. [Read more…]

Costs in unfair dismissal applications – part 3

Previous articles by Dundas Lawyers have looked at the difficulties confronted in obtaining a costs order against an unsuccessful party in an unfair dismissal application (Application).  To recap, section 611(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA) holds that a party to an Application, be it the complainant employee or the respondent employer, must bear its own costs in relation to a matter before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  However, there are circumstances when the other side’s costs can be imposed on a party to an Application.  This article outlines these circumstances. [Read more…]

Changes for casual employment – employer’s responsibilites

Changes affecting employers of casual employees came into effect on 27 March 2021 following the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economy Recovery Act 2021 (Cth) (Amendment).  The apparent intention of the Amendment is to strengthen the position of regular casual employees and establish more onerous obligations for employers.  Employers need to be aware of these changes to ensure they are not in breach of their new obligations. [Read more…]

Costs in unfair dismissal applications – part 1

Being in business is hard work at the best of times; having to juggle the needs of customers, the demands of financiers and earning a dollar at the end of the day.  One of the most demanding aspects for many business owners is managing the performance of employees.  Given the industrial relations landscape in Australia, employers need to take care if wanting to terminate an employee because of misconduct or ongoing poor performance, lest they risk an unfair dismissal claim. [Read more…]

My client poached my software developers – what can I do?

Imagine this – it’s taken you almost a decade, you’ve created a successful software development business with many happy long-term clients, a stable team and a great reputation.  More recently you’ve even created a funky new millennial style brand!  One day an employee resigns and the next week another one resigns.   The following week your biggest client breaks their long-term engagement with you and then another one of your team resigns!   You get suspicious, do some investigations and discover the former employees are working in-house for your ex-client!

It is not uncommon for clients (Clients) of professional service businesses (Service Provider) to poach the employees of the Service Provider.  The software development sector is a prime example where this occurs. [Read more…]

The new business as usual in 2020 and beyond!

It’s perhaps an understatement to say that the last few for Australian business has been unprecedented.  How can any business plan adequately consider and cater for a global pandemic and mass business shutdowns?  Extraordinary seems to be the new business as usual (BAU) in 2020 and beyond! [Read more…]

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