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COVID-19: a work health and safety perspective
Insight 01 Apr 2020

The progression of COVID-19 continues at pace and businesses are facing an array of challenges and difficult decisions. While there are a number of issues for businesses to work through at this time, this article touches on the key work health and safety (WHS) duties employers need to be aware of. ...

COVID-19: Government planning to subsidise wages
Insight 01 Apr 2020

The Federal Government announced on 30 March 2020 a wage subsidy in the form of a Job Keeper Payment to assist businesses and employees as part of its third economic stimulus package, 'business hibernation' COVID-19 response. ...

Hospitality Industry Award varied to include COVID-19 flexibility schedule
Insight 01 Apr 2020

On 24 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission varied the Hospitality Industry (General) Award to introduce temporary changes in response to COVID-19, following government orders to shut down various parts of the hospitality industry. The changes to the Hospitality Award allow employers to require employees to perform other duties, including to perform work across classifications, provided it is safe to do so and the employee has the necessary license and qualifications. ...

Fair Work Commission agrees to vary the Clerks Award in light of COVID-19
Insight 01 Apr 2020

On Saturday 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission introduced temporary changes to the Clerks – Private Sector Award in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on clerical and administrative employees. An employer can now agree (in writing, including by email) with an individual employee to reduce the employee's hours (including by more than 25%) or to move the employee temporarily from full-time to part-time hours of work, and reduce their pay proportionately. ...

FWC considers unfair dismissal procedural requirements
Insight 01 Apr 2020

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has ordered a case be reheard after it was found that adequate consideration was not given at first instance to whether a dismissed employee had been notified of, and given an opportunity to respond to, a valid reason for his dismissal. ...

OAIC releases new privacy guidelines for employers in response to spread of COVID-19
Insight 01 Apr 2020

Employers should collect, use and disclose as little information as is reasonably necessary to prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This includes taking the temperature of employees and visitors entering the workplace for the limited purpose of preventing or managing COVID-19 risks in the workplace (provided that as little information as is reasonably necessary should be collected for that purpose). ...

First prosecution for breach of new Heavy Vehicle National Law chain of responsibility duties
Insight 01 Apr 2020

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced its first prosecution into duty holders under the new chain of responsibility (CoR) provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), which has been adopted in all states and territories (other than Western Australian and the Northern Territory). ...

Toothless sexual harassment training leaves employer liable for sexual harassment
Insight 01 Apr 2020

Employers should ensure they take 'all reasonable steps' to prevent their employees from engaging in sexual harassment and any behaviour contrary to the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act. If an employer does not, it is likely to be vicariously liable for employees' offending conduct. ...

Amnesty for historical superannuation non-compliance
Insight 01 Apr 2020

The newly introduced superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty scheme provides a one-off amnesty to encourage employers to self-correct historical SG non-compliance. This is done by allowing employers to claim tax deductions for contributions made during the amnesty period, as well as waiving certain penalties and fees that may otherwise apply in relation to historical SG non-compliance. ...

Responding to COVID-19: your questions answered
Insight 30 Mar 2020

As Australia's COVID-19 infection rate continues to grow, businesses here are responding to a range of challenges. On this page, we’ve pulled together our insights on some of the key issues affecti ...

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