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Unfair dismissal threshold increase from 1 July 2016

Introduction  New rates, thresholds and other changes in the employment arena commence from 1 July 2016. The following article briefly summarises the main amendments that employers should be aware of. Unfair dismissal threshold (high income threshold) and maximum compensation cap The high income threshold will increase from the current $136,700 to $138,900 from 1 July 2016. This means employees whose annual rate of earnings is $138,900 (which excludes statutory superannuation) or more and who are not covered by an award or enterprise agreement, are unable to pursue an unfair dismissal application.  The change also means that the maximum compensation that can be awarded for an unfair dismissal claim is $69,450. National minimum wage From 1 July 2016, the national minimum wage will increase to $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour (calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full time employee). This represents a 2.4% increase.  The inc...

27 June 2016

The benefits of a 'measured' and 'considered' approach to termination of employment

Factual background Pickles Auctions Pty Ltd (Pickles) had engaged Mr Rooney for over 6 years in a detailer/floor staff role. Mr Rooney's employment history demonstrated an inconsistent level of performance, including  habitual lateness for work and several incidents of unsatisfactory conduct. Between February 2011 to May 2015, Mr Rooney was issued with 6 written warnings regarding his performance, in addition to frequent verbal warnings for failing to attend work at his scheduled start time and failing to notify his supervisor prior to his scheduled start time of his lateness for work as required under Company policy. Most recently in February 2015, Mr Rooney received a first warning for poor attendance and misconduct and in March 2015, a second and final warning for poor attendance, as well as a further second and final warning in May 2015 regarding his attendance at work in an unshaven/un-presentable state. In June 201...

23 March 2016

Labour hire employees still entitled to claim unfair dismissal remedy

Background Ms Kool was engaged as a casual employee by Adecco Australia Pty Ltd (Adecco) to undertake work at the host employer, Nestle Chalet Patisserie (Nestle). Ms Kool undertook work at Nestle for a period of 2 years and 5 months, working at least 38 hours per week. Prior to commencing her placement at Nestle, Ms Kool signed a Candidate Declaration provided to her by Adecco  in which she acknowledged, amongst other things that: she would be under Adecco's client's care, direction and supervision during the period of any assignment; she was engaged as a casual by Adecco; and Adecco did not control the length of any client assignment and the client may vary or conclude the assignment at an hours' notice. In March 2015, Nestle advised Adecco it was meeting with Ms Kool regarding "inappropriate/unprofessional conduct" - in particular that she was 'clocking...

23 March 2016