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Andrew Bland was his opinion for an article  "Would You Tell A Prospective Employer If You Were Pregnant?" for Marie Claire

You're interviewing for your dream job...you're three months pregnant. Do you tell?

 

The law says an employer has no right to know you’re pregnant at the time of an interview. But what's the cost of keeping quiet?

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An Article in BRW

When Qantas invited its Twitter followers to describe a luxury inflight experience to win a gift pack, the airline presumably was seeking to repair relations strained from its grounding of the entire fleet a few weeks earlier in response to a labour dispute.

Instead it faced an almighty backlash. Within hours, thousands of angry and unimpressed customers took to the social media site to voice their views. Responses ranged from “Getting from A to B without the plane being grounded or an engine catching fire” to “More than 3 mins notice that the whole service has been grounded #QantasLuxury” to “#QantasLuxury is a massive executive bonus while your workers starve and your former customers choke”.....

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Personal/Carers, Compassionate & Community Service Leave.

1. Personal or Carers Leave 

Background and eligibility

The National Employment Standards (NES) details the entitlements to personal and carers leave. Paid personal or carers leave is the correct terminology for the phrase ‘sick leave’. All employees (other than casuals) are entitled to paid personal leave or paid carer’s leave, of 10 days per year. The entitlement to paid personal/carers leave accrues from year to year. Paid personal/carers leave is leave that is provided for an employee if, due to their own personal circumstances, they are sick or injured.

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Recent FWA Decision Stresses the Importance of a Social Media Policy.

A decision handed down on Monday 19 December by FWA has once again shown the need for organisations to have a social media policy in place. In this case a former Linfox employee was seeking reinstatement to his position after being terminated for comments made on his Facebook page. Commissioner Roberts commented on the need for a social media policy when, whilst lamenting the fact that Linfox did not have one, he commented that:

“In the current electronic age, this is not sufficient and many large companies have published detailed social media polices and taken pans to acquaint their employees with those policies.”

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The harmonisation of occupational health and safety laws was first raised by the Whitlam Government in 1974. Over the last 25 years there have been ongoing efforts to nationalise OH&sS state based requirements and obligations.

The national OH&S scheme is expected to come into operation on 1 January 2012 as a result of each state, territory and the Commonwealth committing to the harmonisation process. Seven out of nine jurisdictions have now approved the model work health and safety regulations and codes of practice and have committed to meeting the COAG deadline of 1 January 2012.   The two remaining states, Victoria and Western Australia are yet to commit.

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Getting It Right - Employee Leave Entitlements on entry, exit and during the course of employment

Welcome to our ‘Getting It Right’ series. This is the first of our series of articles addressing employee leave and their entitlements upon commencing employment, during employment, resignation and termination.

This week we are looking at annual leave and further in the series, we will be covering personal leave, parental leave, long service leave, leave without pay and other special leave.

“Getting It Right” means being aware of an employee’s leave entitlements, knowing how and when such leave can be taken and what is payable when leave is taken or the employment relationship comes to an end. This paper aims to clarify and consolidate your thoughts on annual leave.

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We are continually advising employers to have thorough and compliant employment contracts in place with their employees. In addition we advise frequently on the need to have policies in place that deal with many aspects of daily working life including bullying, harassment and, one of the more important ones…occupational health and safety. We are often asked by employers “Why do I need these? Can’t people just use their common sense?” Our reply, all of the time is…”NO, because common sense isn’t common enough!”

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Don’t Discount Redeployment Options to a Junior Role When Making Employees Redundant

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("the Act") provides guidelines and provisions on the process of dismissing an employee, and in what circumstances a dismissal may be consider unfair. Under the Act, an employer will be exempt from an unfair dismissal remedy if the dismissal is made by way of a redundancy. However, the redundancy must be one that is considered genuine. At s389 of the Act, a person’s dismissal is not classed as a genuine redundancy if "it would have been reasonable in all the circumstance for the person to be redeployed within (a) the employer’s enterprise; or (b) the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer".

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Recently, there have been a few articles in the national news covering the issue of employees who have been sacked via text message. As an employment law firm, we have also witnessed the use of email and other electronic means to terminate employees.

In the recent text message case, Fair Work Australia (FWA) had to decide whether an employee was unfairly dismissed when a retail shop owner, Ms Sarkis of Modestie Boutique in Liverpool , summarily dismissed her employee, Sedina Sokolovic by sending her a text message which read:

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From 1 July 2011 the government will pay the Parental Leave benefit directly to employers, who will then be required to administer the payment to the employee. Employers need to ensure their pay systems are compliant and ready.

For an updated fact sheet on the governemnt funded paid parental leave scheme please click to download Parental-Leave-Fact-Sheet.

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.



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