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Employment and Migration Blog

Tag: FWA

  • Happy New Year Readers
    Posted by Anna Ford on 21 Jan 2013
    For the next 12 months I will be heading up the Employment Law and Business Migration team here at Coleman Greig, while Stephen Booth takes a sabbatical and ventures around Europe (in my opinion - a well deserved break after 25 years of practice!). If we are lucky we might hear from Stephen throughout the year - maybe even with a description of the picturesque locations he happens to be exploring - but for now it is probably best to review some of the latest developments in the employment law/immigration space over the holiday period!
  • EOFY!
    Posted by Stephen Booth on 3 Jul 2012
    Pay rates All award rates increased 2.9% as of 1 July. So if you pay at or close to award rates, or pay at an annual rate which is not far above award rates but which is intended to include all obligations, then it is a good idea to check the rates you pay against the revised pay rates in the award to make sure you comply, both with base rate and with the total due including overtime etc.    If you need assistance doing this “IR health check”, please give us a call.
  • Qantas: where are they up to?
    Posted by Stephen Booth on 17 Jan 2012
    It is in the nature of our media-saturated world that crises occupy all attention for “15 minutes of fame”, and then subside again, so those not directly involved lose the track of the story, till the next crisis. So what has happened to the Qantas dispute?  Essentially, the wheels set in motion by the Qantas grounding, and the orders of FWA on 31 October, continue to turn, but out of sight.  There having been no private resolution within the 21 days allowed, the disputes are now set up for formal arbitration by FWA in March 2012.  The general expectation is that, when imposing a deal on the parties, FWA will not override Qantas’ management prerogative to the extent of interfering in decisions about off-shore operations and staffing.  Certainly it seems to be Qantas’ calculation that it will get a better deal out of FWA than directly with the unions, and by a route which precludes ongoing industrial action.
  • Appeal against 90 minute after school shifts unsuccessful!!!
    Posted by Anna Ford on 9 Nov 2011
    Retailers will very shortly be able to hire high school students on 90 minute casual after-school shifts, after Fair Work Australia rejected the appeal by the Shop Distributive Allied Employer’s Association (refer to previous blog). FWA wasn’t persuaded that the proposed variation of the three hour minimum engagement period under the General Retail Industry Award was “affected by error”. The decision, however, doesn’t mean an immediate start to 90 minute shifts because the Award was not formally varied, but the option shouldn’t be too far away! It is anticipated that 90 minute shifts will only be available where the employee and their parent or guardian agrees, and where employment for a longer period than the period of the engagement is not possible either because of the operational requirements of the employer, or the unavailability of the employee.
  • Dream or Reality: 90 minute shifts?
    Posted by Anna Ford on 25 Jul 2011
    Retail employers nation-wide are rejoicing over their win, after a long-raging war, to hire casual students for as little as 90 minutes after school. But will the celebrations be short lived? As at 1 July 2011, the existing 3 hour casual minimum engagement period under the General Retail Award 2010 was due to be amended to 90 minutes. As at 1 July, full-time secondary students were to be eligible to enjoy shorter shifts.
  • 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.
  • 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.