News

What the hell can we do about the Coronavirus?

I thought I’d better put out a blog on the difficult topic of the Coronavirus given the amount of public panic and the impact this panic will have on Australian workplaces. Let’s get one thing straight: employers do have a responsibility to make their workplaces healthy and safe. That doesn’t mean that employers have to become overnight medical experts but…
March 4, 2020
News

Superannuation: are its days numbered?

Back in 1991, the notion of compulsory, employer-funded superannuation came as a shock to many. Now we are in 2020, and for a lot of people it’s still a shock. What shocks me is how many politicians and journalists seem to be unaware of the fact that superannuation is very largely funded by employers. Regular clients of Workplace Advisory Group…
February 11, 2020
Tips

Can an employee be dismissed for what they put on social media?

Whether or not you follow the football code of Rugby Union you would certainly have heard of Israel Folau who was recently dismissed by Rugby Australia because of an Instagram post he put up. Without getting into the weeds about what Israel Folau posted and why he posted it, suffice to say that the post was a fierce religious quote…
August 12, 2019
News

The Super Unions are coming!

One of the criticisms levelled at the former Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy (who has now left politics) is that he did not do enough to prevent the merger of the CFMEU and the MUA (now known as the CFMMEU). This was a bit tough on Craig because the law did not permit any real grounds to stop the merger…
August 1, 2019
News

The Federal Government starts making noises about IR reform

The Morrison Government has started making some noises about what it intends to do in reforming the laws around industrial relations. Those noises are made with considerable political caution. So far it’s all been about industry/employer groups being the engine room for suggestions of change. The political advantage in getting industry to suggest change rather than the government is that…
July 26, 2019
News

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
News

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
News

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
Tips

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
News

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
News

Is Leave Loading payable on termination of employment?

If you are an employer who has been employing people under Australian laws for many years you will definitely remember the days when employees were paid Leave Loading on termination in fairly limited circumstances. So, fast forward to September 2018 and abandon those memories! S. 90(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009 seemed to sneak up on employers without anyone…
September 28, 2018