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Family and domestic violence leave – a new Award entitlement

21 August 2018

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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Modern slavery and the Australian workplace

21 August 2018

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.

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Personal leave – how many hours in a day?

20 August 2018

The National Employment Standards (NES) in the Fair Work Act provide that employees are entitled to accrue 10 days of personal leave per 12 months of continuous service. Where employees regularly work a standard 7.6 hour day in a 76 hour fortnight, this is not problematic. However, problems can arise where an employee works a non-standard or varying work pattern.

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Chain of Responsibility

06 August 2018

From taking “reasonable steps” to manage risk, to the imposition of a Primary Duty.

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) regime is intended to ensure that responsibility for preventing breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) are shared by each member of the supply chain.

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Overloading of Heavy Vehicles – recent prosecutions under the Heavy Vehicle National Law

03 August 2018

There has been a recent focus on breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in the lead up to the implementation on 1 October 2018 of the primary duty obligations under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions of the HVNL.

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How a Modern Slavery Bill would affect Australian exporters

28 July 2018

The Modern Slavery Bill was promoted to prompt businesses to consider how they do business on a global scale, including within their supply chain, and take steps to eradicate any risk of modern slavery.

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The role of the private sector in advancing trade facilitation and modernisation

17 July 2018

The idea of facilitating secure and compliant trade underpins many international agreements such as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and WCO Safe Framework of Standards (SAFE) and is reflected in many “Authorised Economic Operator” programmes such as our own Australian Trusted Trader Programme (ATTP).

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Termination of employment for inability to perform inherent requirements of an employee’s position

16 July 2018

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently considered whether a dismissal for incapacity was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable” in the following decisions.

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Mitigating circumstances for misconduct results in employee’s reinstatement

16 July 2018

This is the story of a worker who sent an offensive text message to his co-workers, and the legal battle that ensued. The key message… context is key.

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“You will HATE working here.” What can an employer do about a negative online review?

16 July 2018

This quote is taken from an online platform dedicated to employees expressing their anonymous opinions about their employers.

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The debate on HSS goes on as Home Affairs seeks to draw the line on Line Pipe

16 July 2018

Many readers would be aware of the ongoing debate on what constitutes Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) steel or iron which is subject to dumping or countervailing duties. That has included debate on whether the alleged HSS is, in fact, another type of product (scaffolding for example) or whether the HSS is actually only part of a larger structure and should be classified on that basis.

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Life beyond the Lobby with new security laws passed

13 July 2018

Australia passes espionage, foreign interference, foreign influence and critical infrastructure security laws.

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US air cargo measures to be extended to all exports by air by 1 March 2019

02 July 2018

Readers would be aware that as and from 1 July 2017, all Australian air cargo exports to the United States were required to undergo new “piece level” screening to accommodate the requirements of the US Transportation Security Administration.

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Rigby Cooke Lawyers announces Senior Associate promotions

28 June 2018

Rigby Cooke Lawyers is proud to acknowledge the exceptional work of our legal staff by announcing three Senior Associate promotions across our Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Planning & Environment and Wills & Estates teams.

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Independent Contractors or Employees? An important distinction

21 June 2018

Transport companies often have people working for them, or providing services to them, in a number of different capacities.

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Does your Will deal with digital assets?

21 June 2018

The first question many clients ask when we raise the issue of digital assets is…‘What are they?’

Digital assets can be as basic as your Facebook page and as complicated as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In the middle, we have many different types of assets such as an online share portfolio, subscription to online newspapers, iTunes accounts or Kindle books.

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Damage to goods in transit – who is responsible for the loss?

21 June 2018

Transporting goods by road can be a risky and expensive process.

The risk of damage to or loss of goods transported by road is a real concern for not only the seller and buyer of those goods but also the private carrier responsible for transporting the goods.

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Employee v contractor – tax problems if you get it wrong

21 June 2018

In follow up to our recent article titled Independent Contractors or Employees, while it’s one thing to know the difference between employees and independent contractors, an important issue to consider is the consequences for getting the classification wrong.

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Independent Contractors or Employees? An important distinction

21 June 2018

Transport companies often have people working for them, or providing services to them, in a number of different capacities. In addition to full-time, part-time and casual employees, transport companies may engage drivers or other workers who are described as independent contractors and who may rely exclusively on the transport company for work and income and be subject to significant control of their activities by the transport company.

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Schedule of minimum wage increases – transport sector

21 June 2018

The following tables detail the new minimum rates of pay for part-time and full-time employees under various modern awards, applicable to employees in the transport industry.

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Implementing demotions effectively

04 June 2018

Demotion of an employee may arise when there is a change in the operational requirements of a role or as a disciplinary consequence following an employee’s unsatisfactory performance or conduct.

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The dangers of taking a ‘casual’ approach to employment status

04 June 2018

Incorrectly assuming that an employee is a casual, rather than a full time or part time employee can be a very costly mistake, as a recent Federal Circuit Court decision has again highlighted.

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Change in approach for fixed term contract unfair dismissal claims

04 June 2018

An employee’s contract reaches its expiry date and the employment ends. Can the employee claim that they were unfairly dismissed?

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Key changes to Chain of Responsibility Laws to be implemented from 1 October 2018

30 May 2018

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has announced that the new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will be implemented from 1 October 2018.

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The Budget is released and details begin to emerge

29 May 2018

The Australian Federal Budget for the 2018/2019 year was announced in Parliament on 8 May 2018. Individual summaries for portfolios can be found at the relevant websites for the portfolio agencies.

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Important changes to the Real Estate Industry Award – is your agency compliant?

21 May 2018

On 2 April 2018 significant changes to the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 (Real Estate Award) made by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) came into effect.

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What your organisation needs to know about mandatory data breach notifications

16 May 2018

Mandatory data breach reporting requirements commenced on 22 February 2018. Organisations that are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) need to report certain data breaches to the affected individual(s) and the Australian Information Commissioner.

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High Court opens the way to an appeal on liability for amounts equivalent to duty

14 May 2018

Those operating premises licensed for the handling and retention of goods ‘under customs control’ face a number of significant challenges:

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‘Best (act) Before’ Country of Origin food labelling deadlines are enforceable

09 May 2018

How to prepare to comply

From 1 July 2018 food businesses must comply with labelling requirements set out by the Australian Government which aim to provide consumers with greater transparency on the origin of their food.

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A trade ‘Letter from America’

03 May 2018

This article was first published by AirCargo Magazine.

The renowned journalist Alistair Cooke famously wrote and broadcast ‘Letter from America’ from the US for a period of 58 years. It was a concise and learned spoken piece, around 15 minutes in length in which Mr Cooke delivered observations on developments in the US over the preceding week to a BBC audience in a manner intended to educate the listener and remove some of the confusion usually associated with the US. 

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New Holiday Inn announced for Coburg, Melbourne

03 May 2018

After recently assisting our client and hotel developer, Barnes Capital, with the negotiation of a hotel management agreement with IHG, we congratulate the announcement of a new Holiday Inn to be built in Coburg, Melbourne.

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PE Capital boosts local economy by bringing Hyatt Hotels to Springvale, Melbourne

03 May 2018

We congratulate our client, Melbourne investment company and fund manager PE Capital, who revealed their plans to build an eight-storey, 200-key hotel, at yesterday’s (2 May) annual Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE).

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Victorian state taxation of foreign landowners

13 April 2018

Foreign investors in Victorian land are subject to complex State taxes, including foreign purchaser additional duty, absentee owner land tax surcharge and vacant residential land tax.

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GST withholding changes introduced to combat phoenixing practices in property development

10 April 2018

New laws have been passed affecting the GST obligations of property developers. These laws take effect from 1 July 2018, but may affect contracts entered into prior to this date.

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Development of Commercial Accommodation – Selected Issues

23 March 2018

The development and operation of commercial accommodation raises complex regulatory, contractual, commercial and taxation issues.

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Operators of warehouse found liable for amounts equal to duty on stolen cigarettes

02 March 2017

This article was originally published by the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia and Australian Federation of International Forwarders.

The decision of the AAT in Zaps Transport (Aust) Pty Ltd, Domenic Zappia and John Zappia ats the Comptroller – General of Customs continues the long line of judgments holding those operating licensed warehouse liable for amounts equivalent to customs duty.

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Notice of termination and leave – can they run concurrently?

31 August 2016

There is a range of scenarios in which the interaction between notice of termination and leave can arise and, unhelpfully for employers, neither the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) nor the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic) (LSL Act) specifically address these issues.

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