Fixed-term employment contracts – Beware of the unfair dismissal risk

By Alex Millman and Justine Ansell, NRA Legal Khayam v Navitas English Pty Ltd [2017] FWCFB 5162 Members will recall that earlier this year the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission foreshadowed that it would re-evaluate how the Commission approached fixed-term contracts in unfair dismissal cases, namely whether a contract ‘expiring’ meant that the […]

The road to Hell …

domestic violence leave

By Alex Millman and Troy Wild, NRA Legal … is paved with good intentions. An employer who moved forward the date of an employee’s redundancy so that she would be aware of it before she returned from maternity leave has been found to have breached the Fair Work Act (FW Act). Power v BOC Ltd […]

Email misconduct dismissal upheld

by Sid Sidhu and Troy Wild, NRA Legal Georgia Sologinkin v Cosmetic Suppliers Pty Ltd T/A Coty [2017] FWC 1838 An employee who made highly offensive comments about numerous clients of the company was found to have been fairly dismissed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), earlier last month. The accounts manager, who had been […]

Unfair dismissal case actually “genuine redundancy”

by Sid Sidhu and Troy Wild, NRA legal Case study: Laura Wrzoskiewicz v Easy Payroll Perth Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 2469 A recent case before the Fair Work Commission highlights the meaning of “genuine redundancy” and when an employee will be unable to substantiate an unfair dismissal claim. In this case, a payroll officer who […]

Employer fined $72,000 for exploiting international student

Written by Ben Desir and Troy Wild, NRA Legal Jia Ning Wang, owner and operator of the Fire and Stone Restaurant, has been received a $20,366 penalty, and his company Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services Pty Ltd has been penalised an additional $51,830 after it was found that he deliberately exploited young international students. […]

Dismissals can be stressful and risky

by Angela Szczepanski, Senior Associate, NRA Legal Dismissing an employee can be stressful and is often quoted as the ‘worst part of running a business’. As well as the emotional context, it can be a long and timely process to ensure due process is followed. In particular, special care needs to be taken to minimise […]

Termination of bully upheld as a fair dismissal

A mineworker, along with two other colleagues who were dismissed for bullying a fellow employee by boxing his vehicle in on a highway, failed to convince the FWC that they were dismissed unfairly. Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied Mining Services Pty Ltd (Mt Thorley) conducted an investigation into the incident.  As a result of […]

MEMBER ONLY ARTICLE – Modern Award Reviews Payment of Wages

On 15 June 2016, the Fair Work Commission released a statement to advise how the Full Bench proposed to deal with the payment of wages in relation to five issues; timing of payment of wages, removing a restriction on the days for payment of wages, timing of payment on termination of employment, penalty for late […]

IR Update: The importance of disciplinary meetings

In a recent case regarding a human resource manager, manager and a long-serving employee, the Fair Work Commission has found that a better briefing to a manager should have occurred before he dismissed an employee during a meeting. The employee had been working for K&S Freighters Pty Ltd for over 30 years without blemish. The […]

IR Update: Labour Hire Unfair Dismissal Case

This recent case warns that labour hire companies cannot “abrogate [their] responsibilities to afford procedural and substantive fairness to a dismissed employee by relying on the fact that unfair treatment was meted out by another entity in which [they] had placed the employee.” Adecco Australia were found by the FWC to have unfairly dismissed a […]

IR Update: Employer’s termination of latecomer commendable

In the recent case of Rooney v Pickles Auctions [2016] FWC 858 (9 February 2016), an employer has been commended for his efforts in following due termination process. The National Retail Association consistently reminds its members of the equal weight given to a valid reason for termination as well as ensuring proper process is followed […]

IR Update: Employee prevented from serving notice period wins unfair dismissal case

A woman, who worked as an advertising sales representative, has won her unfair dismissal case due to her employer’s misunderstanding of the employee’s intentions to work out her notice period. In July 2015, the employee was under significant stress from being overworked by her employer. According to her evidence, the owner of the company became […]

Distress and humiliation suffered after adverse action

The Federal Circuit Court has found The Monitoring Centre (TMC) took adverse action against their general manager who had made a workplace complaint when the company asked employees to provide negative feedback about the general manager and ultimately used this feedback to terminate her. The former employee made a formal complaint against the director’s wife, […]

IR Update: Special purpose employees ineligible for redundancy pay

In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission, it was decided that employees working under “special purpose contracts” were not eligible for redundancy pay on termination of their employment. Special purpose contracts include agreements whereby the employee has been contracted to perform a particular task or for a specified period of time. The facts of […]