Latest News In Workplace Law
- Casual Workers may not really be ‘casual’ – WorkPac’s employment agreement did not designate a driver to be a ‘casual’, nor was it clear his “all in flat rate” included casual loading. The Full Court held if an employment relationship has a level of certainty, regularity and predictability about the hours to be worked, it is inconsistent with being a ‘casual’ employee. Business owners also need to be aware that genuine casual employees can ‘morph’ into permanent staff if shifts become regular and will become entitled to the relevant entitlements.
WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene  FCAFC 131 (16 August 2018)
- Accountants beware – A Full Federal Court has dismissed an accountancy firm’s appeal against penalties imposed for failing to ensure a client met its award, minimum pay obligations. The primary Judge concluded that EZY Accounting satisfied the criteria in s 550(2) of the Fair Work Act and was therefore “involved in” the contraventions of s 45 by its client who underpaid its employees. Further, EZY Accounting was an accessory to the contravention as he fell within the terms of s 550(2)(c) in that he was “knowingly concerned” in the contraventions. EZY Accounting was ordered by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to pay a pecuniary penalty of $51,330 pursuant to s 546(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
EZY Accounting 123 Pty Ltd v Fair Work Ombudsman  FCAFC 134 (20 August 2018)
- Warning for hospitality employers – in an unfair dismissal case involving an Indian Restaurant the Fair Work Commission reiterated that excessive and persistent overtime will not be tolerated. The Commission found in favour of the dismissed employee, who was working 60 hours per week and said that the employee had been reasonable and considered in his proposal to the employer to decrease his hours before he was dismissed.
Baldhir Singh v Indian Food Catering Pty Ltd T/A Amritsari Dhaba  FWC 4766 (14 August 2018)
- Workplace conflicts should be handled by employers not staff – In this case, the employer directed a worker to handle a ‘workplace relationship breakdown’ on her own despite the relationship becoming “predicably volatile”. The employee was dismissed for having a ‘screaming match’ but orders were handed down stating the employee was unfairly dismissed and she should be reinstated.
Lorraine Roche v Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Wagga Wagga  FWC 3933 (14 August 2018)