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Council wins right to terminate CEO

The Supreme Court of NSW has recently confirmed the right of Councils to use the notice provisions of the Standard Contract of Employment General Managers of Local Councils in NSW to terminate a CEO, and not be bound to otherwise undertake prior action under its disputes resolution clause. Background The applicant, Mark Stapleton, had been the CEO of the City of Parramatta and successfully sought an interim injunction to restrain Council from terminating his employment following allegations, and an investigation, concerning the CV submitted for his appointment as CEO. The Court’s decision On the issue of whether Council was acting in a manner consistent with Mr Stapleton’s contract of employ

Seeking a costs order in the IRC? Perhaps don’t bother

Two recent matters heard by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission highlight the need for great care in seeking cost orders. Both cases involved employers who had successfully defended unfair dismissal applications but then had their applications for costs dismissed, confirming the approach of the Commission in rarely exercising its discretion to award costs. The lead matter concerned North Sydney Council following the alleged constructive dismissal of an employee wanting more time to work in secondary employment as a pole dancer and fitness instructor. Background The applicant, Ms Isobel Moore, claimed she had been unfairly dismissed after her employer, North Sydney Council, declined her r

Department denied costs after winning misconduct case

Background The applicant, Mr Graham Smith, claimed he had been unfairly dismissed by the Department of Industry following five allegations of misconduct being sustained against him. This misconduct included a failure to adhere to multiple formal directions requiring him to cease sending inappropriate or offensive communication to staff, including a number of emails with cartoons. Rejecting the Applicant’s submissions about his use of cartoons to deal with his dyslexia, the Commission dismissed Mr Smith’s application, commenting he was “the architect of his own demise…[h]e was given multiple opportunities to correct his behaviour and chose not to”. Commissioner Murphy also emphasised the misc

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