Think twice, and then again, if making staff on maternity leave redundant or changing conditions

A growing number of matters being dealt with by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and other tribunals demonstrate that many employers are exposing themselves to great risk of unwanted employee claims by changing the work or contract conditions of employees on or returning from maternity leave. With many of these claims arising from the ‘general protections’ or ‘adverse action’ provisions of the Fair Work Act, employers are risking very substantial penalties and compensation payments, on top of considerable legal expenses. Read more for our top tips of avoiding these problems. Top Tip 1 – Recognise that employees on or returning from maternity leave have very extensive protections under the Fair

Top 3 tips for dismissing problem staff in a fair way

As specialists in employment law, O’Connell Group keeps a close eye on decisions from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and other tribunals needing to review the termination of staff by their employers. While dismissing staff who have misbehaved or otherwise caused problems may need to be done quickly, doing so in a way that avoids rash and/or emotional behaviour will better ensure your company is not called to justify its decision to external bodies. Furthermore, dismissing problem staff in a manner that is demonstrably fair will not only reduce the risk of having a disgruntled ex-employee talking to your clients or competitors, but also provide evidence to your remaining staff of your willing

Covert surveillance of misconduct leads to reinstatement of employee

In a decision handed down on 18 July 2017, the Fair Work Commission ordered the reinstatement of a health care employee who had been dismissed for serious misconduct involving neglect of an aged resident under her care. A key element for the decision of the FWC was the employer’s use of video footage of a number of incidents secretly filmed by another employee to justify its constructive dismissal. Facts Ms Tavassoli was a nurse at BUPA Aged Care Mosman, employed since 2003, who resigned under contentious circumstances later found to constitute constructive dismissal in November 2016. Her dismissal arose from a number of incidents she was involved in with aged residents, which had been cover

WHS investigation into misconduct matters insufficient to justify dismissal

In a decision handed down on 27 July 2017, the Industrial Relations Commission ordered the reinstatement of a Council Ranger who had been dismissed for failing to comply with de-escalation of aggressive conflict protocols following an incident involving multiple physical altercations with members of the public. Facts Mr Bassam Alameddine worked as Ranger at the City of Parramatta Council from 2002 and was dismissed effective 11 January 2017 following an incident on 14 June 2016 where he was assaulted twice while undertaking his duties. This incident followed previous concerns about the Applicant’s work performance, including: His repeated use of aggressive language with the public, Driving i

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