fair work act

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 2

An earlier article by Dundas Lawyers discussed the difficulties confronted in obtaining a costs order against an unsuccessful party in an unfair dismissal claim.  To recap, subsection 611(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) holds that a party to an unfair dismissal 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). [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…]

Standing down employees – when can it be done?

Standing down employees without pay would seem a logical response to the current COVID-19 crisis.  Employers must first recognise that during the COVID-19 public health pandemic normal workplace laws continue to apply. [Read more…]

Enterprise agreements – considerations for employers

Anyone who has been through the enterprise bargaining process will appreciate just how onerous the procedural steps and mandatory requirements set out in Part 2-4 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) can be.

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