Topic: Asia Pacific

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Continuing reform of the Heavy Vehicle National Law – Now is the time to ensure you comply

There has been significant activity recently in the area of safety regulation for the heavy vehicle transport industry (see our previous updates) and further reforms are on the way. In particular, key amendments to the chain of responsibility (CoR) and executive officer liability provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) are set to commence in … Continue reading

Queensland introduces chain of responsibility legislation for non-conforming building products

The Queensland Government proposes to introduce comprehensive changes to its building and construction laws through the amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) proposed by the Building and Construction Legislation (Nonconforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017 (Amendments), introduced in to Parliament on 26 … Continue reading

Anti-bullying laws and the boardroom

Board members can occupy positions of high responsibility and power.  A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission has shed light however on whether they may also fall under the category of ‘worker’ for the purposes of anti-bullying laws.… Continue reading

Reinstatement of employees following disingenuous consultation

The Fair Work Commission has recently made orders reinstating four employees whose employment had been terminated for reason of redundancy. The decision is a timely reminder of the importance of employers ensuring that they consult in a meaningful and genuine way with affected employees in a redundancy situation, where those employees are covered by an … Continue reading

Enterprise bargaining – minor technical deficiencies can derail the whole process

If your business is considering making an enterprise agreement, you must strictly comply with the procedural requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) and ensure you use the newly amended Notice of Employee Representational Rights. For those who have already commenced bargaining, small mistakes made during the bargaining process may mean the parties’ … Continue reading

Transitional arrangements for the 457 visa and next steps

Following the Australian Prime Minister’s announcement on 18 April 2017 that the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa from March 2018, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has issued further information on the upcoming changes that will  impact the 457 visa programme.  Additional legislative and policy … Continue reading

Australian 457 working visa to be abolished – reforms to employer sponsored skilled migration programme announced

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced yesterday afternoon that the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa to better address genuine skill shortages and protect the Australian local labour force.  The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.… Continue reading

Private eye: using Facebook to discipline an employee

The Supreme Court of Victoria’s decision of Jurecek v Director, Transport Safety Victoria [2016] VSC 285 clarifies the application of privacy law to an employee’s social media account, specifically in relation to an employer collecting and using information gathered from an employee’s Facebook account when investigating misconduct.… Continue reading

New codes introduced – Contractors must be aware of enterprise agreement risks

The new national code for the tendering and performance of building work 2016 (Code 2016) commenced on 2 December 2016 to coincide with the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The governing legislation is the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (Act). The Code 2016 applies to building contractors carrying … Continue reading

Genuine Redundancy and Redeployment – Job Swapping Reasonable in All the Circumstances?

In the recent case of Skinner et al v Asciano Services Pty Ltd T/A Pacific National Bulk [2017] FWCFB 574 the Full Bench found that an employer breached its obligation to explore redeployment options under s.389(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009 after making 7 of its employees redundant without properly considering job swaps and … Continue reading

Singapore Government-linked Company Faces Criticism for its Termination of Employees

Last month, 54 employees of a Singapore Government-linked company, Surbana Jurong, were terminated from employment. A local newspaper, Today, reported that the Group Chief Executive of Surbana had sent a firm-wide email explaining the firm’s decision to terminate these employees and labelling them as poor performers who could not be allowed to drag down the … Continue reading

Employer not liable to compensate employee for stress caused by ‘stand-down’ meeting

A recent decision of the District Court of Western Australia provides some positive news for employers facing a workers’ compensation claim for a stress-related injury caused by disciplinary action. At first instance in Woodside Energy v Kieronski [2016] WADC 144 the arbitrator held that Ms Kieronski was entitled to compensation for a psychiatric condition caused by … Continue reading

High Court clarifies application of reasonable administrative action exclusion for workers’ compensation

The High Court has recently clarified the application of the reasonable administrative action exclusion for workers’ compensation claims under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) (SRCA). The SCRA excludes liability to compensate an employee for an injury or condition suffered as a result of reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable manner.  Reasonable … Continue reading

Misuse it and lose it

A series of recent cases demonstrates that the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will, with increasing frequency, revoke or suspend union entry permits following findings of contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).  So far this year, in 3 separate cases, the FWC has suspended or revoked the entry permits of 7 officials of … Continue reading

Employer prevented from offsetting higher annual salary against award entitlements

  A recent decision of the Western Australian Industrial Magistrates Court[1] has provided a timely reminder that, where employers pay an annualised salary to an award-covered employee, specific wording may be required in the contract of employment to ensure the higher salary can be offset against specific award entitlements that are not separately provided, such … Continue reading

When is going running in the course of employment?

A worker who injured herself when she went for a run whilst working from home has had her application for workers compensation dismissed, but only on the basis that the injury did not occur during an ‘ordinary recess’. Background In Demasi v Comcare (Compensation) [2016] AATA 644 (26 August 2016), the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) … Continue reading

The latest from the Fair Work Commission on drug and alcohol policy breaches

Last month, the Fair Work Commission upheld a decision to dismiss an employee for breaching its zero tolerance policy on illicit drugs, confirming the importance of having a clear drug and alcohol policy that is effectively communicated and consistently applied. The employer, Coles Group Supply Chain Pty Ltd (Coles), summarily dismissed Shane Clayton who tested … Continue reading

When will an employee’s “out of hours conduct” be a valid reason for dismissal?

An employer generally does not have any right to direct how an employee conducts themselves outside of their employment.  For an employee’s “out of hours conduct” to be a valid reason for dismissal, the conduct must have a relevant connection to the employment relationship. In the recent decision of Kedwell v Coal & Allied Mining … Continue reading

High Court clarifies meaning of Victorian manual handling regulations

The High Court has recently clarified the operation of the manual handling provisions in the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic) (the Regulations) in Deal v Kodakkathanath [2016] HCA 31 and held that a jury should have been allowed to hear and consider an injured employee’s claim that her employer breached the Regulations.… Continue reading
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