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Union seeking to obtain signatures on petition for majority support determination is not "holding discussions" for right of entry purposes

Introduction Recently there was a significant Federal Court decision on a union’s power to exercise right of entry to hold discussions under section 484 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act). The question that the Court was primarily concerned with was whether the union’s purpose for right of entry, being to obtain the signatures of its members in support of an application for a majority support determination, fell within the meaning of “holding discussions” in section 484 of the Act. The union was unsuccessful in this case. Importantly, the Court held entry for the purposes of obtaining signatures on a petition to be used in an application for a majority support determination by the Fair Work Commission is not encompassed by the statutory language of entry for the purposes of “holding discussions”.    Reasoning The Court first commented that the right of ent...

14 December 2022

Critical Workplace Law Update – Pay secrecy provisions in contracts of employment now outlawed

As you may be aware the Labor Government’s most recent IR Bill has now been made law. Various aspects of the new laws commence at different times. Critically, one of the amendments that commenced today are the new laws prohibiting pay secrecy. The new provisions provide the following Employee Pay Secrecy Rights: an employee may disclose, or not disclose to any other person the employee’s remuneration and/or any terms and conditions of the employee’s employment that are reasonably necessary to determine remuneration outcomes, for example the number of hours that the employee works; and an employee may ask any other employee (whether employed by the same employer or a different employer) about the other employee’s remuneration and/or any terms and conditions of the other employee’s employment that are reasonably necessary to determine remuneration outcomes. Provisions in new or varied contracts of employme...

7 December 2022

Employer succeeds in an unfair dismissal case where tram driver did not tell doctors of his stroke

Introduction In a recent case in the Fair Work Commission, the Company successfully defended an unfair dismissal case involving the misconduct of an employee by failing to disclose he had suffered a stroke. Commissioner’s reasoning In finding there was a valid reason for the employee’s dismissal, the Commissioner’s reasoning included: There is a National Standard that applies to the Company and the employee as a tram driver. The employee was given training and on two occasions was given an information sheet on the requirements of the National Standard. Accordingly, the employee should have been aware of the requirement to notify the Company of any temporary or ongoing health condition or change in health status that was likely to affect his ability to perform his work safely, and to provide complete and accurate information concerning his medical history to the assessing authorised health professional. Th...

16 November 2022