A podcast from Piper Alderman's Employment Relations team where they discuss the important topics in employment law in Australia.
#13 - What makes a contractor a contractor?
In Episode 13 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Professor Andrew Stewart and Emily Haar consider the four recent cases on the vexed issue of independent contractor vs employee.
#12 - Are your casual employees really casual? A discussion of the Rossato decision
In Episode 12 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Professor Andrew Stewart and Emily Haar consider the fallout from the Full Federal Court’s decision in Workpac v Rossato, where a long-term “casual” employee was found to in fact be a permanent full-time employee.
In particular, they consider the arguments Workpac ran to say that the casual loading should be used to “offset” any non-payment of leave entitlements owed to a permanent employee, or that the loading was paid by “mistake”.
Andrew and Emily comment on a range of recent cases where the distinction between leave and pay was emphasised, and consider what might happen next, as employers and business groups grapple with the outcome. Considering your organisations’ options is particularly pertinent, even where Workpac have launched an appeal in the High Court of Australia, because that process will not resolve the issue in the immediate future.
#11 - Current and Post COVID Employment Restructuring: What Options Does Your Organisation Have?
In Episode 11 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Chris Hartigan and Emily Haar discuss the particular requirements for implementing workforce change using the Job Keeper amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), in particular what “reasonable” might mean, and what consultation actually requires.
Employers should both be considering how they keep going right now, but also what change they might need to implement on a more permanent basis, particularly when the current government initiatives are due to cease later this year.
#10 - What tools does your business have in its kit to deal with COVID-19 and beyond?
In Episode 10 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Tim Capelin and Emily Haar discuss how businesses can use the current goodwill and cooperative spirit in workplaces to help implement innovation and other workplace change, both now and after we emerge on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.
Things are moving rapidly, and employers need to be prepared for how they will exit “hibernation”, bringing their employees with them into the new-normal. Tim and Emily consider what enterprise bargaining might look like, whether working from home might become the norm, and the issues that may arise during the transition from stand-down to back-up-and-running. The best tool an employer may have, may not be a legal tool, but instead a cultural tool. How that is wielded may prove vital to emerging from the crisis as unscathed as possible.
#9 - April 2020 update regarding the employment law considerations arising from COVID-19
In Episode 9 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Erin McCarthy and Emily Haar provide an update on particular employment law issues that arise out of the present COVID-19 pandemic.
Things are moving rapidly, and what was normal practice just two weeks ago, seems very different.
Erin and Emily discuss the confusion around whether personal/carer’s leave is payable during a stand down, what the Fair Work Commission has been doing to vary Modern Awards to deal with particular industries in trouble because of the situation, how enterprise bargaining can work during this time, what difficulties can arise when employees on work-visas are out of work, as well as consider the Government’s announcement around JobKeeper payments, and provide a reminder around some of the privacy law implications of managing your workforce.
#8 - COVID-19 and Work Health and Safety Obligations
In Episode 8 of our Employment Law for the Time Poor podcast, Erin McCarthy and Emily Haar discuss the current COVID-19 situation through the lens of the work health and safety (WHS) obligations.
The second in our two-part series on COVID-19 and workforce management, this episode goes through a structured workplace safety framework for assessing what can and should be done to manage the risks associated with the novel coronavirus, not just for direct employees, but also the broader general public who might interact with your business. It takes the regulatory regime for workplace safety as the basis for developing a practical management plan to implement effective and realistic (and legally sound) workforce management steps.