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On the couch

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We have a very comfortable couch at Justitia, which is where we have our best discussions. This is what we’re talking about at the moment.

Employers beware: You may be on your own at the Commission

Posted by Mar 6, 2018

During a Fair Work Commission (the Commission) matter, seeking permission for a representative to appear on the employer’s behalf may merely seem like a box to be ticked. However recent cases from the Commission serve as a reminder that obtaining permission to have a lawyer or paid agent appear on your organisation’s behalf is not […]

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over – new guidance on maximum term contracts

Posted by Feb 27, 2018

In a case that will have major ramifications for the way employers structure their employment contracts, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has held that an employee employed under a maximum term contract, that ended on the agreed expiry date, is not necessarily excluded from its unfair dismissal jurisdiction. A maximum term contract […]

Proposed whistleblower reforms: What are they, and how could they affect you?

Posted by Dec 5, 2017

For individuals looking to expose misconduct within their organisation, they embark on a dangerous journey. Whistleblowers risk reputational damage, bullying and the loss of their job, along with the stress and financial hardship flowing from their decision to blow the whistle. Whistleblowers have helped uncover Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning scandal, and 7-Eleven’s underpayment of workers, […]

Protecting vulnerable workers

Posted by Nov 30, 2017

As previously discussed, the Court has demonstrated that it is increasingly willing to extend accessorial liability to third parties, including directors, human resource and payroll staff, professional advisors and other companies both up and down the supply chain. The Federal Court has recently continued this trend in Fair Work Ombudsman v NSH North Pty Ltd […]

‘Tis the Season

Posted by Nov 27, 2017

It is the that time of year again when organisations send out their reminders to managers and staff (sometimes separately) about the expectations of appropriate behaviour at work related Christmas parties and events.  Occasions when, inevitably, there is someone who becomes just that little bit too relaxed and perhaps even uninhibited, under the spell of […]

From LA to Melbourne: recent investigation conferences and other developments

Posted by Nov 23, 2017

We try to keep our clients briefed about developments in all workplace law areas, and one in which Justitia has been active this year involves workplace investigations. So it is time for an update. Increasingly, we have been assisting clients negotiate complex misconduct issues, where an investigation was necessary due to either the seriousness of […]

Investigations: We need to get better at responding

Posted by May 30, 2017

Put yourself in the shoes of a respondent in a workplace investigation. There you are, working away in your role and most likely thinking you’re doing good work, and then someone complains about your conduct to HR. You’re called into a meeting and formally advised that an independent investigator – a lawyer even – has […]

Stop bullying orders – an injunctive measure for disciplinary processes?

Posted by May 23, 2017

The interaction between disciplinary processes and allegations of bullying is a difficult issue for many organisations. We often hear of employees making complaints of bullying or discrimination whilst they are subject to an investigation, performance management or some other disciplinary process. The disciplinary or performance management process – provided it is properly instituted – generally […]

Tougher stance on underpayment contraventions

Posted by May 16, 2017

This year we have observed that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and the courts appear to be adopting a tougher stance on underpayments and similar contraventions, especially in relation to ‘vulnerable’ workers. A significant case (handed down late April and outlined below) indicates that the Courts are willing to extend their reach when attributing liability […]

Investigations: On ambushing, lie detection and a feather

Posted by Feb 14, 2017

In 2016 I was lucky enough to participate in a week-long training course for workplace investigators run by the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) in Ontario, Canada.  AWI is an association for US-based workplace investigators.  This was the first training course they’d run in conjunction with their Canadian branch, the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators […]