Independent Contractors Might Be A Threatened Species

And you thought it was just an Australian issue. Wrong! The Supreme Court of California (yes, you read correctly, California) handed down a decision at the end of 2018 in a case involving the trucking firm Dynamex Operations West. Dynamex was using a business model that is popular in Australia where its drivers supplied their own vehicles (and fuelled and…
February 26, 2019

Is the Fair Work Commission about to get a power boost?

Next month it will be thirteen years since the Howard Government introduced WorkChoices. It was then the most radical change in employment laws in Australia for close on a century. It amounted to a full throttle deregulation of the labour market. The union movement hated it and ultimately WorkChoices played a major role in the defeat of the Howard Government…
February 19, 2019

Labor Party IR Policy Announced (Sort Of)

I had been waiting anxiously to advise all Workplace Advisory Group clients and readers of this blog about the industrial relations policy that a Shorten Labor Government would implement when it took office. I’d hoped the ALP National Conference would give me some meaty content upon which to blog. I got that wrong! Bill Shorten has announced the IR policy…
January 7, 2019

Who’s Really A Subcontractor?

For those who follow my blog or who are clients of Workplace Advisory Group, you will know that the question of what really constitutes a bona fide sub contract relationship looms large in Australian workplaces. For months now we have seen a sustained assault in the courts against so-called subcontractor relationships. Probably the highest profile case has been one that…
November 22, 2018

Industry Bargaining: Will it Destroy Enterprise Bargaining?

When this writer first came into Industrial Relations the notion of “enterprise bargaining” did not exist. Wages were determined by the Award system. Wage negotiations were conducted by trade unions talking to major employers and industry associations, usually in that order! Unions would attempt to secure their desired deal by pressuring a small number of major companies and then moving…
November 1, 2018