Topic: Asia Pacific

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Singapore to enshrine workplace anti-discrimination laws

On 29 August 2021, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Government will enact new laws to formally enshrine the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (“TAFEP Guidelines”) into statute.1 There are, at present, no specific laws in Singapore which directly regulate workplace discrimination. Employers are, however, expected to abide by the principles … Continue reading

New infringement notices for offences against Victorian Occupational Health and Safety laws

WorkSafe inspectors will now be able to issue infringement notices to companies and individuals for certain occupational health and safety offences. The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Infringements and Miscellaneous Matters) Regulations 2021 (Vic) which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic) (2017 Regulations) commenced on 31 July 2021 in Victoria. Section 139(1) … Continue reading

High Court clarifies definition of casual employee

The High Court has upheld the employer’s appeal in the Rossato casual employment test case, and in the process has clarified the definition of casual employment (Workpac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2021] HCA 23). However, the practical significance of this decision has been limited by recent legislative amendments. The High Court held that a casual … 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

SafeWork NSW approves Code of Practice on managing psychosocial hazards

SafeWork NSW has approved Australia’s first Work Health and Safety (WHS) Code of Practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work (the Code). The Code took effect on 28 May 2021. The WHS Act provides that an approved code of practice is admissible in Court proceedings as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation … Continue reading

Outcomes of Australian WHS Ministers’ meeting to respond to recommendations arising from the Boland independent review

The long-awaited meeting of Australian WHS Ministers to discuss the response to the 34 recommendations contained in the Marie Boland independent review of the model Work Health and Safety Laws final report (published in February  2019) (Boland report), took place on 20 May 2021.  We have previously discussed the Boland report and its recommendations in … 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

Workplace sexual harassment: New WHS guidance materials

The focus on sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly as a risk to the psychological health of employees, has continued in 2021. Australian Human Rights Commission report into workplace sexual harassment The Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces published in March 2020 (Respect@Work Report), found that whilst the Model Work Health and … Continue reading

Changing the law for casual employees

What has happened so far? Last month the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021, also known as the Omnibus Legislation, came into effect.  This reformed the legal definition of a casual employee and introduced a statutory definition of a “casual employee” for the first time in Australia. For a long … Continue reading

Global client-facing guide on the employment status of gig workers

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia’s Employment and Labour team has collaborated with our global counterparts to prepare a guide on the status of gig workers across various jurisdictions. The guide is available here. Employment and labour practitioners in each jurisdiction have set out the current employment status at law of gig workers, before explaining the grey … Continue reading

Western Australia set for WHS Reform

The Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 (WA) received assent on 10 November 2020 (WHS Act). The WHS Act introduces the offence of industrial manslaughter and will harmonise WA’s work health and safety (WHS) laws with most other Australian states and territories. This harmonisation is long overdue in WA with the other states and territories … Continue reading

WHS regulators issue guides and codes of practice on psychological health and managing sexual harassment claims

Earlier this year, the Respect@Work – National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission made key recommendations addressing psychological health and sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. Specifically the inquiry recommended: the model WHS Regulations should be amended to address psychological health by identifying and appropriately controlling work-related psychosocial … Continue reading

Record fine imposed on Ardent Leisure Limited over Dreamworld fatalities

Background On 25 October 2016, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Cindy Low & Roozbeh Araghi suffered fatal injuries on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride after the raft they had been travelling in collided with another raft. Coroner James McDougall undertook a Coronial Inquest (Inquest) which resulted in the Findings of Inquest (Findings) delivered on 24 February … Continue reading

Legacy Employers: Who are they? Can they still access the temporary JobKeeper enabling directions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)?

When extending Part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act (Cth) (FW Act), the government recognised there would be employers who had previously qualified for the JobKeeper scheme, but who would no longer qualify to participate in the scheme following its extension past the end of September 2020.… Continue reading

Amendments to the JobKeeper scheme

On 3 September 2020, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Act 2020 (Cth) (Act)[1] passed both houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, extending the JobKeeper scheme, varying employer JobKeeper eligibility requirements and making amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).… Continue reading

ASIC’s guidance indicates employers should make a provision in financial reports for employee entitlements owed to past and present casual employees who worked regular and systematic hours

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has issued a guidance note (Guidance) in relation to financial reporting and audit requirements under Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).[1]… Continue reading

How to address employment issues involving a whistleblower

Under the whistleblowing regime in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (CA), it is unlawful for someone to cause or threaten to cause detriment to, or victimise, a person because they believe or suspect that the person has made, may have made, or could make a whistleblowing disclosure (Whistleblower).  Very substantial civil and criminal sanctions apply … Continue reading
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