Latest News In Workplace Law
Fair Work Commission: NEW annualised salary clauses for various modern awards imposing wide ranging new requirements
A recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision confirmed the provision of an annualised salary clause to be included in various modern awards. The annualised salary clause requires employers to comply with onerous record-keeping obligations and imposes an “outer limit (scope) of hours”for salaried employees, amongst other measures. As a result of the FWC decision, employers will need to update their employment contracts (potentially their individual/award flexibility agreements) and workplace reporting procedures as the changes come into effect. The FWC has requested further submissions due by the end of this month. This will be a really important decision with wide ranging consequences for award -covered employers.
Employer held vicariously liable and ordered pay more than $100,000 in damages for harassment
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found Parker Manufactured Products Pty Ltd (Parker) to be vicariously liable under relevant State legislation for failing to protect a young female employee who had complained she was being subjected to sexual harassment from an older colleague. Judge Harbison ordered Parker to pay $130,000 in damages for the office worker’s pain and suffering and loss of future career. Parker was ordered to pay an additional $20,000 in damages for failing to conduct an impartial investigation and mishandling pertinent evidence.
Kerkofs v Abdallah (Human Rights)  VCAT 259
Work Health and Safety law review
A review of occupational health and safety laws has produced a series of recommendations including the introduction of a model industrial manslaughter offences. An independent reviewer, Marie Boland noted that only the ACT and Queensland currently have a provision for industrial manslaughter. Ms. Boland also recommended heftier charges if a duty holder “is grossly negligent in exposing an individual to the risk of serious harm or death. For more information, please read here.