Regulating the Employee Relationship – what questions need to be asked?

Regulating the Employee Relationship – what questions need to be asked?

The Australian workforce is constantly evolving and the challenges facing HR professionals and employment lawyers continue to grow. The employment law landscape during the last twelve months has been particular interesting and a number of key legal questions need to be considered when building the Employee Relationship.

1.   Casual Employment Post Workpac - Considerable media attention was afforded to the Full Federal Court decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene, which confirmed the tests for the characterisation of casual employment. The resulting outrage led to the Federal Parliament regulating to address “double dipping”. But is the issue now finally settled?

2.   Working Beyond the Nine to Five: Hours of Work and Employer Obligations - An employee can work a maximum of 38 hours in a week unless an employer asks them to work reasonable extra hours. Sounds simple enough in theory, but what is meant by ‘reasonable’? And, what are the risks of employers when staff are putting in more than the maximum hours of work? 

3.   Fit for Work and Employers’ Obligations - For employers to meet their safety obligations, it is crucial that they ensure their employees are fit for work.  While making these inquiries is often uncomfortable for employers, knowing what can be done to ensure employees can properly perform their roles and employers reduce their risk of unlawful discrimination.

4.   You’re Fired! Are Summary Dismissals Unfair? - Deciding whether an employee’s conduct is sufficiently serious to justify termination without notice or payment in lieu of notice can be a challenging exercise. What changes have the recent FWC unfair dismissal decisions and relevant principles made?

5.   Exiting Senior Employees: All Good Things Must Come to an End - Executive employees are a crucial part of any big organisation. When they leave, it can be a major disruption for your business. How can you ensure their contract covers all the essential termination clauses is key?

6.   When Your Data Flies out the Door with a Departing Employee - A significant and recurring problem for businesses is the loss or misuse of data including confidential information, especially when an employee is departing the organisation. How can you respond swiftly, and what steps can you take to mitigate against the risk in the first place?

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