Employment and Migration Blog

Month: June 2011

  • EOFY already!
    Posted by Stephen Booth on 27 Jun 2011
    Just a few things to bear in mind, and get in order if need be, as 1 July approaches: Paid parental leave, pay increases, modern award transition and unfair dismissal salary cap.
  • Rude? Certainly! Discrimination? Not necessarily.
    Posted by Stephen Booth on 21 Jun 2011
    There was a case last week (Trapman v Sydney Water) in which an indigenous labour hire worker recovered $5,000 damages from supervisor and end-user employer because the supervisor told a group, including the worker, a joke about Aborigines. The supervisor had asked the worker’s permission to tell the joke, which was given, but the Court accepted that the worker should not have been put in the position of having to tell his supervisor that he was unhappy about a racist joke being told – the very fact that the supervisor asked for permission meant that the supervisor knew the joke was inappropriate.
  • U R fired!
    Posted by Anna Ford on 21 Jun 2011
    There’ve been a few instances of termination by text surfacing in recent FWA decisions. On the face of it, sounds like pretty poor HR, but there can be exceptions. I had an unfair dismissal case recently where the termination was by text, and it seemed OK to me – but this was in the context of the employee having been refused leave, saying he’d take the time off anyway and get a doctor’s certificate, then failing to show for several days, refusing to come to the door when his boss called by, and refusing to take his boss’s calls. Sending a text in those circumstances at least had the virtue of being in writing (as required by the FWA), and was therefore better than leaving a voicemail. However, it would have been better still if a snail mail had followed with all the usual details. Not hard to do. We never had to put it to the test as the employee lost interest and cancelled the conciliation.