Recent News

Not too Drunk to Get the Sack

Wining and dining is an aspect of today’s workplace culture, for insurance broker Mitchell Innes a night of drinking on the company tab meant the end of his employment with Willis Australia Group Services (‘Willis’). The Story Mr Innes attended a work conference in Melbourne late October 2012, during the conference he and a number […]

Would Sir or Madam like a Contract “to go” with those Mutual Wills?

Many couples make Wills on the same terms – they choose the same executors, beneficiaries, and asset distribution.  However, there is nothing to stop one – or both – changing his or her will to dis-inherit beneficiaries that the couple had jointly understood would benefit on death.  Absent a formal contract to make mutual wills, […]

High Income Threshold and Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal Applications – 1 July 2016

Employers should be alert to changes to worker entitlements effective 1 July 2016:  Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold; Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal; Redundancy Tax Free Amount; Employment Termination Payments (ETP) Lower Tax Rate Cap; and Superannuation Maximum Contribution Base. Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold From 1 July 2016, the High Income Threshold will increase from […]

Protection for Small Businesses against Unfair Contract Terms from November 2016

From 12 November 2016 the unfair contracts provisions of the consumer law will be extended to cover standard form contracts involving small businesses. The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Act 2015 recognises the disparity in bargaining power between small businesses and their larger cousins and extends to them the protections currently […]

Last Minute Asset Protection: Not So Super

Even where you operate your business through a company, you can, as a director, be personally liable for claims arising out of the company’s activities. The corporate shield has long been split asunder both by judge-made law and a myriad of statutes. So, apart from taking out insurance for obvious risks (such as for personal […]

‘Chucking a Sickie’? Just Chuck it or Get Chucked!

Australia Day is right around the corner. This year the public holiday falls on a Tuesday.  So who wouldn’t be tempted to turn the celebrations into a four day long-weekend, by ‘chucking a sickie’ in the great Aussie tradition on the Monday immediately prior?  Well, think again.  You might just find yourself out of work […]

High Court Triangulates Labour Hire Sham Contracting

Employers that once thought they could avoid the sham contracting prohibitions in section 357 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA) may have to review their operations. Interposing an independent labour hire company between the company and their workers, or "conversion" of employees into independent contractors, will not necessarily work. In a case handed down on 2 December 2015, […]

‘Reinbeers’ at Christmas Parties – What can go wrong for employers when alcohol is involved?

The Christmas decorations are going up and the staff and employers alike are looking forward to kicking off the silly season with a staff Christmas party. What can possibly go wrong? Unlimited alcohol at Christmas parties is every employee’s dream, but it can also be your worst nightmare. If you haven’t managed your risks effectively, […]

Engaging a labour hire employee – the Fair Work Commission’s view on ‘outsourcing’

Engaging a labour hire employee – the Fair Work Commission’s view on   ‘outsourcing’ If you offer permanent employment to a temp worker, then the worker may get unfair dismissal rights, and sooner than you would have thought. Usually, when you take on a new employee, you would expect that the employee would not have unfair […]

Preliminary discovery a new weapon for the status quo

Established companies have many legal and commercial weapons at their disposal to protect their position. The financial power of large corporations with established supply agreements can make it almost impossible for newcomers to gain a foothold. Allegations of intellectual property infringement can be levelled at any competitor, regardless of their size. Preliminary discovery is the […]