Category: Workplace Relations


Changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) took effect on 1 October 2018. These changes relate to new inclusions to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws, and resemble the current risk-based approach that is applied in workplace health and safety law. 

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On 2 October 2018, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, headed by Ross J, partially overturned a decision of Deputy President Colman, reguarding the cases of Mr Gelagotis and Mr Hatwell which received media coverage because of the industrial context that the dismissals arose.

The Full Bench stated that there was a valid reason for dismissal but the conduct warranted a disciplinary response that fell short of dismissal.

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In September 2018, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) published a new model award term to supplement the flexible work provisions in s65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). In another decision, when arbitrating a dispute under an enterprise agreement, it found that the employer had not demonstrated that it had “reasonable business grounds” for refusing an employee’s flexible work request.

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On Thursday 1 November 2018, the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) (LSL Act 2018) took effect.

Although the rate at which long service leave (LSL) accrues (0.8667 weeks per year) will not change, there are other significant changes that businesses operating in Victoria need to ensure they comply with to avoid exposure to penalties which have tripled under the new law. 

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A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) provides insight into the meaning of “acceptable” alternative employment and when the FWC will use its discretion to reduce a redundancy payment in circumstances where an employee, whose position has become redundant, has declined an offer of alternative employment.

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The process of making an enterprise agreement and having it approved by the Fair Work Commission (Commission) is becoming ever more pedantically complicated.

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The prevalence of mental health issues and its impact on individuals and the workplace is now well-known and accepted by employers. Around 45% of Australians between 16- 85 experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime1. In a given 12-month period, one in 5 Australians will have experienced a mental health condition2.

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In recent months there have been several important developments which affect businesses which employ casual employees directly or use casual labour hire workers.

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This article was updated on 29 August 2018 and provides an update to our previous coverage on this matter.


Slavery is thought of as something from a past era. However, legislators across the world have passed laws this decade to combat modern slavery, for example, in 2010 California passed the Transparency in Supply Chains Act. In 2015, the UK followed with the Modern Slavery Act.

Australia has also taken the lead.

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​Every four years the Fair Work Commission (FWC) reviews the Modern Awards that apply to a significant portion of Australia’s workforce. In 2017, the ACTU made a submission to the FWC as part of that process proposing that Family and Domestic Violence leave (FDV leave) be included in the Awards. Research indicates that family or domestic violence had a negative impact on their work for nearly 60% of women experiencing family or domestic violence.

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