Alexandra Shields

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The future of underpayment proceedings: The Fair Work Ombudsman and union led class actions

This article was co-authored with Kate Green and Rachael Lee. Amidst an exponential increase in wage theft and pay compliance matters, the proliferation of underpayment proceedings in recent years has created complexity as employers face a hotbed of often overlapping and competing claims from employees, unions, third party funders and the Fair Work Ombudsman (the … Continue reading

No Loopholes Here: The ‘Closing Loopholes’ Bill Explained

The third tranche of the Federal Government’s industrial relations reforms was introduced to Parliament on 4 September 2023 to make good on a number of reforms foreshadowed in the most recent Federal election and at the 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit.  After a year of significant development in the employment and industrial relations space, the … Continue reading

Protecting Worker Entitlements reforms – more key dates for employers

This article was co-authored with Lachlan Crosbie. Employers need to be aware of key changes to legislation protecting employee rights which will commence in the coming months. The Fair Work Legislation (Protecting Employee Entitlements) Act 2023 (Protecting Employee Entitlements Act) marks the Government’s second major reform to the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). The … Continue reading

Government introduces legislative changes following the Respect@Work report

On 24 June 2021, the Federal Government introduced the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendments Bill 2021 (Cth) (Bill) into the Senate.  The Bill amends both the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) in response to the Respect@Work report (the Report) and implements many … Continue reading

AHRC Report: ASX200 companies and sexual harassment

On 17 June 2021, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released the “Equality across the board: Investing in workplaces that work for everyone (2021)” report (AHRC Report).  The report collates survey and interview data from 118 ASX200 listed companies to portray how these companies are currently combatting the issue of sexual harassment and makes recommendations … Continue reading

Australian Sexual Harassment Landscape to Change

In mid-March 2021, amendments were sought to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SD Act) by independent member Ms Zali Steggall OAM introducing the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill (Bill). If passed, the Bill will address some of the shortcomings in the SD Act which were initially highlighted by the Australian Human … Continue reading

Have your say on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The recent Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) national survey on sexual harassment has made it clear that sexual harassment in the Australian workplace is increasing.   In June 2018, the AHRC announced a National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in order to report, on other things, the prevalence and reporting of harassment and the … Continue reading

AHRC launches national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australia

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) has recently launched an inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces (Inquiry). It seems that the ‘watershed’ moment that the #MeToo campaign was hailed as, has indeed driven the momentum to keep the issue alive and for meaningful action to come from it. There can be little argument that … Continue reading

Protected species? Considering rights associated with pregnancy and parental leave in the event of redundancy

When an organisation is considering making redundancies, it is important to consider whether employees who are pregnant or on parental leave are afforded any special protections under Australian law. Both the Fair Work Act 2009 and anti-discrimination legislation include provisions particularly relating to pregnancy and parental leave, including the right to return to the same … Continue reading

Overseas mobility – to second or not to second?

With many organisations having multinational operations, mobility is a matter of increasing significance and the first question to consider is what is the best arrangement for moving people overseas. Two options often faced by companies is to either terminate the employee’s employment with the home entity and commence employment with the overseas entity of the … Continue reading

Prosecution for breaches of the Fair Work Act is on the rise: directors, watch out!

Prosecution for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) is on the rise, and not just against companies but against directors personally. Over the Festive Season / New Year period the Federal Circuit Court handed down nearly $600,000 in penalties in eight separate cases brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The recent … Continue reading