Corporate & Commercial

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Published in Employment and Workplace advice on 3rd Dec 2013

Who is eligible to make an application? A new section will be inserted in to the Fair Work Act 2009 (“the Act”) to extend the definition of “worker” to include employees, contractors, subcontractors, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, volunteers and students gaining work experience. When is a worker “bullied” at work? The new laws will provide that a worker is bullied at work if another individual, or group of individuals, repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards the worker, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.  The implications of this definition are: The behaviour has to be repeated and there must be a “persistent nature” to it. This means that a...

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Published in Employment and Workplace advice on 3rd Apr 2013

The case law suggests that the relevant test is whether there is a “sufficient nexus” between the employee’s actions and their employment. In any event, it is difficult to discern any predictive principles as each situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This article will provide an overview of cases that illustrate this issue in practice. Public Employment Office Department of Attorney General & Justice v Silling [2012] NSWIRComm 118 Mr Silling was employed as a corrections officer by the Department of Corrective Services. Mr Silling was dismissed after his third conviction for domestic violence. After the first conviction in 1998, Mr Silling received an official w...

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Published in Employment and Workplace advice on 25th Mar 2013

Requests to work from home Section 65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (“the FWA”) allows an employee who is a parent or who cares for a child to request a change in working arrangements where the child is under school age. However, an employer may refuse the request on “reasonable business grounds”. Furthermore, an employee may only request to work from home if they have served a minimum period of 12 months of employment service. The FWA does not define “reasonable business grounds”, however a number of factors may be considered, including: whether the work is required to be carried out “on-site”; the effect that the arrangement may have on the employer’s business; the...

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Published in Employment and Workplace advice on 13th Jul 2012

Facts Mr Symes was a long-term employee at Armaguard, who had worked his way up to the position of a crew leader. His duties included transporting cash to and from clients’ premises and servicing ATMs. After suffering a workplace injury, he was effectively demoted and placed on light duties pending his full recovery. He was informed that, due to the amount of time it was taking Mr Symes to do his runs he would remain in this position until his performance improved. At one of Armaguard’s regular monthly staff meetings, Mr Symes was informed that he had been allocated a vehicle with a faulty indicator. Frustrated and angry that this would cause delay in his work duties, Mr Symes told h...

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Published in Employment and Workplace advice on 3rd Jun 2011

Dubbed "Brodie's Law", the Bill has now passed both Houses of the Victorian Parliament and will take effect in early June 2011. What has changed? Workplace bullies will now be dealt with under the criminal law. The Bill extends the definition “stalking” in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), the Stalking Intervention Orders Act 2008 (Vic) and the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) to include the following behaviours that are typical of workplace bullying: making threats to the victim; using abusive or offensive words to or in the presence of the victim; performing abusive or offensive acts in the presence of the victim; directing abusive or offensive acts towards the vic...

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Published in Technology and Intellectual Property on 24th Aug 2015

  Can I use that cat image? Just because an image is publically available on the internet, does not mean it is free.  In fact, unless there is a clear statement to the contrary, you should always assume that material found on the internet is copyright protected and therefore requires the owner’s permission in order to be used.  This is further complicated by the fact that the image may have been displaced several times and the site on which you have found it may not even have the rights to it. Many believe they can avoid a claim for copyright infringement by merely attributing the work to the source on which they found it with a “shoutout” or link back. Unfortunatel...

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