Topic: Asia Pacific

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Shining the spotlight on dust lung disease in Queensland: a regulatory response for the resources industry

Since 2015, Queensland’s resources industry has been shaken by the re-emergence of dust lung diseases, largely among the State’s large coal mining workforce.  So far, more than 130 workers have been diagnosed with incurable forms of lung disease across Australia, resulting in 6 Queensland deaths in the past 12 months.[1] The State Government has responded … Continue reading

Not-for-profit organisations bound by the whistleblowing regime

From 1 July 2019, not-for-profit incorporated organisations that meet the definition of a “trading or financial corporation” must comply with the corporate sector whistleblower regime in Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act). What entities are obliged to comply with the new whistleblowing regime? The new whistleblower regime applies to “regulated entities”, … Continue reading

The WHS Response to psychological health and a PCBU’s obligations

Psychosocial hazards and work-related stresses are amongst the most challenging workplace health and safety issues. In recent times, there has been an increased focus by WHS regulators on ‘mentally healthy’ workplaces. Organisations are expected to have appropriate systems in place to eliminate or reduce psychosocial hazards, such as bullying and harassment, to effectively respond to … Continue reading

Marie Boland’s Review of the Work Health and Safety Laws, Part 3: Safe Work Australia‘s Consultation Regulation Impact Statement

On 24 June 2019, Safe Work Australia released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) seeking feedback on the possible impacts of implementing the recommendations of the Marie Boland independent review of the model Work Health and Safety Laws final report (Report). In February this year, Marie Boland (former Executive Director of SafeWork SA) delivered the Report which found the model … Continue reading

Crouch, bind, set: Folau to tackle Rugby Australia in the Federal Court

The termination of Israel Folau’s $4m playing contract has set the scrum for a Federal Court case which is likely to shape the landscape of religious expression and vilification in the employment context. Background Folau’s controversial “warning” on Instagram stated that “Hell awaits” those who are “homosexuals … thieves and atheists”, among others, telling them … Continue reading

Keeping your finger(print) on the pulse:  Employer’s warned of the risks associated with the collection of biometric data

The everyday use of biometric technology in contemporary society is nothing new. We live in a world where we regularly use fingerprint recognition for home security, facial recognition to open our phones and voice recognition to ask Siri to spice up a party by playing the latest Taylor Swift tune.  Despite the significant advancements and … Continue reading

Australian minimum wage to be increased by 3% to $19.49 per hour from 1 July 2019

The Fair Work Commission has determined to award Australian workers a 3% increase on minimum wages. In the Annual Wage Review Decision handed down today, the Fair Work Commission has determined that from 1 July 2019: The national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages are to be increased by 3%. The national minimum wage … Continue reading

New laws in force to prevent “sharp corporate practices” of employers in avoiding payment of employee entitlements

The Corporations Amendment (Strengthening Protections for Employee Entitlements) Act 2019 (Act) received Royal Assent on 5 April 2019.[1]  The Act amends Part 5.8A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) to discourage the use of “sharp corporate practices” used by employers to avoid paying employee entitlements when their business enters winding up, including improper … Continue reading

New code of practice for managing the mental health of FIFO workers

The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, in conjunction with the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health and the Mining Industry Advisory Committee, has released a Code of Practice “Mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers in the resources and construction sectors” (Code).[1]  The Code recommends implementing a risk-based approach to … Continue reading

New whistleblowing laws require a compliant policy

Amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) take effect from 1 July 2019 ushering in significant changes to Australia’s whistleblowing laws.[1] Chief among the key changes is a requirement on public companies and large proprietary companies[2] to have a compliant whistleblowing policy by 1 January 2020. A failure … Continue reading

Marie Boland’s Review of the Work Health and Safety Laws, Part 2: current status of industrial manslaughter provisions around Australia

As reported in an earlier article on this blog, Marie Boland (former Executive Director of SafeWork SA) undertook the first review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws and delivered her report on 25 February 2019 (Report). The Report concluded that the model WHS laws are operating as intended and the “three-tier framework” … Continue reading

Queensland director’s ‘flagrant disregard’ for safety methods leads to custodial sentence following reckless conduct conviction

Earlier this year Gary Lavin and his company Multi-Run Roofing Pty Ltd (Multi-Run Roofing) were found guilty by a jury of reckless conduct under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the Act), following the death of a worker in July 2014. Mr Lavin was sentenced to 12 months in prison (suspended after 4); … Continue reading

There’s a BEAR in there…

What is BEAR? The Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) is set out in Part IIAA of the Banking Act 1959 and took effect in February 2018. BEAR establishes accountability obligations for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and their senior executives and directors. The regime also establishes deferred remuneration, key personnel and notification obligations for ADIs. An … Continue reading

Model terms for annualised wages clause to be included in Modern Awards

As part of the Fair Work Commission’s (Commission) four-yearly review of Modern Awards[1], the Commission recently handed down a decision on 27 February 2019 (Decision)[2], to insert new model clauses for annual wages into Modern Awards. The Decision applied to 17 Modern Awards that currently contain annualised wage entitlements, and 2 Modern Awards that previously … Continue reading

Two jobs, one employer: Australia Post not liable for overtime pay

The recent Federal Court decision of Lacson v Australian Postal Corporation [2019] FCA 51 has reaffirmed the position than an employer is not liable for cumulative overtime and allowances where their employee performs different duties at two different locations and two different times. Justice Mortimer dismissed an appeal by an employee of Australia Post, who … Continue reading

Marie Boland’s Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws – industrial manslaughter, enhancing the Category 1 offence, and what it might mean for statutory safety duty holders

Since the start of this year, two directors have been sentenced to custodial terms for safety offences in relation to separate fatal incidents. In February this year,  Marie Boland’s Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws – Final report (Report) was released  which recommends including a new offence of industrial manslaughter in the … Continue reading

Update on case involving whether employee can be compelled to give evidence in a coronial inquiry

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court) handed down its decision on 15 February 2019 in Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 25.  The case involves an appeal to the Full Court by Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd (Helicopter) arising from a decision of the Federal Court which … Continue reading

Singapore: “Watershed” Amendments to Employment Legislation

Singapore’s employment laws are set to undergo watershed changes come April 2019. In summary, a greater number of employees – in particular, professionals, managers and executives (“PMEs”) – will soon be able to avail themselves of the statutory protections contained in Singapore’s Employment Act, the key employment legislation in Singapore. The single most significant legislative … Continue reading

Recent changes to Modern Awards – What employers should know

As part of the Commission’s four-yearly review of modern awards[1], the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently handed down a number of decisions[2] which have the effect of inserting a model casual conversion clause (Model Clause) into 84 Modern Awards[3] from 1 October 2018.  This provides “regular casual” employees the right to … Continue reading

Can an employee be compelled to give evidence in a coronial inquiry where the employer is facing a WHS proceeding?

A coronial inquiry being conducted at the same time as a criminal proceeding may constitute interference with the due administration of criminal justice amounting to contempt of court. A recent Federal Court decision[1] has considered whether the examination of an employee witness at an inquest will constitute ‘interference’ for the purposes of the criminal proceeding … Continue reading

Model term for family friendly working arrangements to be included in modern awards

As part of the Commission’s four-yearly review of modern awards,[1] the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) recently handed down a decision (Decision),[2] to insert a new model term (Model Term) into all modern awards, which will: complement the flexible working provisions contained in s 65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act); and impose … Continue reading
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