Month in Review – May 2020

In the News

Safe Work Australia has released safety protocols to help guide businesses out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cotton On reviewed its decisions on hundreds of casuals that it ruled as ineligible for the JobKeeper payment.

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission released the Have a COVID-19 Plan to assist employers in preparing for their employees safe return to work when COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Coles employees have launched a class action for alleged underpayments over $150 million.

A lawsuit alleges that male traders and portfolio managers at Advent Capital Management, a New York hedge fund, ranked women on a 0-10 scale, called them demeaning names and categorised them as to whether they wanted to marry, kill or have sex with them.

In the Courts

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has overturned the decision of Commissioner Simpson’s decision to order compensation instead of reinstatement for a casual factory worker who was terminated for refusing to use the workplace’s biometric scanning.

The Fair Work Commission has ordered the reinstatement, backpay and continuity of a BlueScope worker. Employers were warned to ‘falsely amplify’ safety hazards.

The Federal Court of Australia has held that a Fair Work Ombudsman’s Notice to Produce for a franchisor was invalid. The Notice to Produce failed to particularise the alleged primary contraventions of the franchisor.

In the first JobKeeper decision, the FWC has found that a stood down part-time employee unreasonably refused a request to use one day of annual leave per week for 16 weeks.

The Federal Court of Australia has held that employees who have been stood down are not entitled to be paid personal/carer’s leave. Justice Flick has followed the Mondelez decision, that paid personal/carer’s leave is a form of income protection. As employees are stood down, they are not receiving an income to protect.

Our Contributors

Now that working from home may be a longer-term option, PCC Employment Lawyers’ May Newsletter addresses employer responsibilities and best practice when implementing work at home policies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have specific questions concerning the implementation of work from home policies.

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Jessica Hatton

Jessica graduated from the University of New England in 2018 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Management. Jessica was admitted as a Solicitor in July 2018, and following her admission, Jessica practiced in property law in Tamworth, NSW. With an interest in employment law and human resources, Jessica moved to Sydney in 2019 to join PCC Employment Lawyers. Jessica has gained experience in a wide range of workplace law areas, including employment contracts, Unfair Dismissal matters, General Protections Applications, Workplace Investigations, Enterprise Bargaining, corporate governance, and discrimination.

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