Payroll that just doesn’t pay: Accountants targeted for accessorial liability in underpayment claims

By Daniel Van Leuverden / June 7, 2017 /

By Adam Foster In the recent case of FWO -v- Blue Impression Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 810, the Federal Circuit Court recently held an accounting firm liable as an accessory to an employer’s underpayment of wages and breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”). In 2014, the Fair Work Ombudsman (“FWO“)…

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More than words: An Award coverage employee can still claim even though he was over the unfair dismissal cap

By Lewis Holdway / June 1, 2017 /

Substance over form. That was the sting in the tail in a recent jurisdictional hearing before the Fair Work Commission. It sounds obvious, and straight forward. But in Kaufman v Jones Lang Lasalle [2017] FWS 2623, the employer learned this lesson the hard way. This case is a warning to all employers about ensuring that…

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Cooking the Books in the Name of Religion: Employee or Volunteer

By Lewis Holdway / April 27, 2017 /

The Federal Circuit Court recently handed down an important decision that reminds both the not for profit sector, including religious organisations, of the need to pay close attention when engaging individuals as an employee or volunteer to work in their organisations. In the decision of Hindu Society of Victoria v Fair Work Ombudsman [2017] FCCA…

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Volunteer or Employee?

By Lewis Holdway / March 30, 2017 /

The recent decision of Grinholz v Football Federation Victoria Inc. has provided much needed clarity surrounding the classification of volunteers’ vis a vis employees. In this decision, the Fair Work Commission was required to determine whether a coach, who was paid on honorarium was an employee or volunteer for the purposes of an unfair dismissal…

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Small Business Code No Defence for Unfair Dismissal

By Lewis Holdway / March 23, 2017 /

In the recent decision of Brewer -v- On the Spot Dry Cleaners, one employer learnt the hard way when it was found that they had not followed the Unfair Fair Dismissal Small Business Code. The Fair Work Commission has reminded employers that they must get the termination process right, even when using the Small Business…

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Working with Children Check Changes

By Lewis Holdway / March 16, 2017 /

In our December 2016 edition of Directions, we flagged that some significant changes to the Working with Children Check requirements had been proposed by the Victorian Government. Click here for our article. The Victorian Parliament has now passed those changes.  At this stage they are scheduled to come into effect on 1 August 2017. We recommend…

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Unfair Dismissal Claim: Dishonesty Never Pays

By Lewis Holdway / March 16, 2017 /

One employer learnt the hard way what happens when you lie about the reason for terminating an employee while at the same time trying to invoke the Small Business Code as a shield from an unfair dismissal claim. The recent decision of Mark Groves –v- Armitch Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 826 (“Groves Case”) confirmed, if…

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New Child-Safe Standards in Victoria

By Lewis Holdway / March 16, 2017 /

On 1 January 2017, compulsory new child-safe standards came into force in Victoria.  They are designed to ensure that: the safety of children is promoted; child abuse is prevented; and allegations of child abuse are properly responded to.  Who do the new Child-Safe Standards apply to? As of 1 January 2017, the standards apply to: …

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Redeployment obligations under Genuine Redundancy – Be reasonable.

By Lewis Holdway / February 22, 2017 /

The recent Fair Work Commission Full Bench decision in Skinner v Asciano Services Pty Ltd [2017] FWCFB 574 has shed new light on what the Tribunal will consider to be a reasonable genuine redundancy. Generally speaking, there is no obligation on an employer to implement or facilitate a swap arrangement between employees whose positions are…

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Termination for misuse of social media – police with the right policy in place

By Lewis Holdway / February 15, 2017 /

The recent case of Renton v Bendigo Health Care Group [2016] FWC 9089, is a timely reminder about the use and abuse of social media in the workplace. It highlights why employers need to have appropriate policy in place if they want to be able to lawfully terminate employees for misconduct. In the Renton case, a former employee…

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