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The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a record $238,920 penalty on a company providing an airport shuttle service from Newcastle to Sydney airport, for underpaying its drivers.

Interestingly, the Fair Work investigation arose not from an employee complaint, but as part of a national compliance campaign focused on sham contracting. The penalty imposed was made up partly of breaches relating to misrepresentation of employees as contractors, and partly for failing to meet award requirements.
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The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPS Act) establishes a new national system for the registration of security interests in personal property. PPS reform introduces fundamental changes to the law of personal property and is also designed to establish one central register (PPS Register) administered by the Commonwealth of Australia.‬

The aim of the PPS reform is stated to be to improve the ability of individuals and businesses, particularly small-to-medium size businesses, to use all their property in raising capital.

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Circumstances may arise in which the employment of your employees need to be terminated. Termination attracts various legal obligations of which employers ought to be mindful in order to avoid or minimise litigious repercussions.

From 1 July next year, the Federal Government's changes to the Work Choices unfair dismissal laws will take effect, which will in turn alter the current legislative termination landscape.

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While there is no general entitlement to unpaid leave under the Fair Work Act 2009, there are some provisions that deal with the question of when unpaid leave can be taken. In other cases it is a matter for agreement between the employer and employee.

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Social Media & Unfair Dismissal - A Guide for Employers

The recent decision by a full bench at Fair Work Australia in Dianna Smith T/A Escape Hair Design v Sally-Anne Fitzgerald [2011]FWAFB 1422 (15 March 2011) upholding an unfair dismissal finding is a timely reminder for employers to ensure they observe the correct procedures when considering terminating an employee, and that they have clear guidelines in place for the use of social media where employees comment on their place of work.

Various parts of the Fair Work Act came into effect on 1 July 2009. Among them are the provisions enacting the new 'adverse action' jurisdiction of Fair Work Australia (FWA).

The ‘adverse action’ provisions under the new industrial relations legislation will compel employers to be more cautious when making decisions that affect employees.

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Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry, have announced new laws regulating executive termination payments.

Under the proposed new laws, termination benefits for directors and certain senior executive employees exceeding one year’s average base salary will require shareholder approval.

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