Workplace Policies

“Reasonable notice” ruling adds termination pressure on employers

“Reasonable notice” ruling adds termination pressure on employers

A recent Federal Court decision has highlighted the risk of relying on the National Employment Standards (the NES) to define the amount of notice required when terminating staff. In a case involving a misbehaving employee, the Court held the NES requirement of 5 weeks’ pay may be insufficient and that additional payment for ‘reasonable notice’ could be an implied requirement,…read more →

25 year gap no barrier to hearing loss liability

25 year gap no barrier to hearing loss liability

Even though an employee had last worked with an employer in 1991 and had several employers since, the NSW Workers’ Compensation Commission has held an employer liable for a hearing injury claim lodged in April 2015 seeking a lump sum amount as well as hearing aids. Facts of the case Mr Noel Parsons worked at Qantas between 1954 and 1991…read more →

Further impacts from abolition of NSW Industrial Court – WHS Category 3

In addition to the changes set out in our September Public Sector Update, proceedings for Category 3 offences under the Work Health and Safety Act have been moved to the District and Local Courts. This move will finalise prosecution arrangements under the WHS Act, with the most serious Category 1 and serious Category 2 offences being previously transferred from the…read more →

Review of Model Code and Procedures now under way by OLG

Review of Model Code and Procedures now under way by OLG

Governance and Human Resources Managers, as well as Complaints Coordinators should already be aware of the OLG’s current Review of the Model Code as well as its Procedures for the Administration of the Code. This is your opportunity to advise the OLG of issues encountered with these processes as well as suggesting ways of improving their ability to deal with…read more →

Confused reaction to disruptive patient justifies payment to terminated security employee

Confused reaction to disruptive patient justifies payment to terminated security employee

In a delayed decision handed down on 2 November 2016 the IRC considered an incident where Mr Siddique, a security employee at a major hospital, was observed on CCTV to push over and injure a disruptive patient. While his actions were found to justify his termination, Commissioner Tabbaa found confusion by supervisors meant Mr Siddique’s activities were not adequately questioned,…read more →

Well written contract protects employer from competitor

A restraint clause in an executive’s contract of employment has provided an employer an additional 3 months protection from competition after the employee resigned to take up a job offer with a direct competitor. Facts On 1 August 2016 the NSW Supreme Court handed down its decision in a case brought on by port operator, DP World, against its former…read more →

Further reductions at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission

Consistent with the steady decline in the size and function of the NSW IRC over recent years, the Baird Government has proposed legislation to move its judicial functions over to the Supreme Court, as well as consider the appointment of a Chief Commissioner to oversee the remaining five Commission members. Last month the Government sent out to interested stakeholders plans…read more →

Recent Employment Law cases you may have missed

1. Employee sacked for bullying HR staff after demotion for racial abuse The Commission has endorsed the dismissal of a worker who had initiated a campaign of email harassment of HR staff who had been involved in his earlier demotion. The demotion followed an investigation into allegations the worker had called an Indian colleague “smelly” and had encouraged a co-worker…read more →

Fair Work Commission decision on Toll Holdings worker dismissal

The Fair Work Commission has confirmed the dismissal by Toll Holdings of worker after receiving complaints from a co-worker of Afghani origin alleging he had been subjected to ongoing racial comments and cultural abuse in the workplace. Types of alleged comments The co-worker complained his colleague, Mr Johnpulle had made inappropriate comments to him over a period of around 15…read more →