Telstra offers affected staff 14 days’ leave pay

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Mar-20

The ACTU has urged the federal government to underwrite two weeks’ paid leave for all permanent, casual and contract workers who are directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The proposal has been rejected by employers’ group and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. Meanwhile, Telstra has advised that all employees whose jobs mean they cannot work from home – such as technicians and store staff – will receive 14 days of paid leave if they are forced to self-isolate or must care for children due to the closure of schools or child-care centres. Less than 10 per cent of Telstra staff cannot work from home.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Negligent profits at workers’ expense

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 21-Feb-20

Super Retail Group has advised that the extent of its wage underpayment scandal is worse than initially thought. The retailer says employees have been underpaid by $61.2m, compared with a previous estimate of $53m. Meanwhile, Professor Andrew Stewart from the University of Adelaide suggests that some employers have been negligent by shifting staff to annualised salaries while failing to determine if they have been working additional hours.

CORPORATES
SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

High Court to hear sick leave appeal

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 10-Jan-20

The High Court has granted Mondelez International special leave to appeal against a 2019 Full Federal Court ruling in regard to the payment of sick leave to workers at its Cadbury plant in Tasmania. Amanda Banfield, Mondelez’s president for Australia and New Zealand, had stated that the Federal Court’s ruling meant that employees working the same hours on different rosters would be eligible for different leave amounts. Mondelez’s appeal has the backing of the federal government.

CORPORATES
MONDELEZ AUSTRALIA (FOODS) LIMITED, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, CADBURY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Jail for employers exploiting workers

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 7-Mar-19

The federal goverment has expressed in-principle support for the 22 recommendations made in the report of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce. The report found that many migrant workers are victims of wage exploitation, and recommended harsher penalties for underpayment. The government is set to announce criminal sanctions for "clear, deliberate and systemic" underpayment of works, despite opposition from employers’ groups. It also intends to establish a national labour-hire registration scheme covering industries where wage exploitation is widespread.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Call for rethink on work sex claims

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Feb-19

The ACTU and the Australian Council of Social Service are among the groups that have urged changes to the Fair Work Act to allow complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace to be heard by the Fair Work Commission. The joint submission to the national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment contends that the current system is flawed and can result in complainants being victimised again when their case heard in court.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE, FEDERATION OF COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES

Small business faces $8bn holiday pay hit

Original article by Dennis Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Feb-19

Labor’s motion to disallow the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations is expected to be debated by the Senate on 2 April. The Coalition moved to clarify the status of casual workers via regulation in late 2018 in response to the WorkPac case, in which the Federal Court ruled that casual workers are entitled to annual leave in addition to a casual loading. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has urged parliament to reject the disallowance motion, warning that it would threaten the viability of many small businesses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WORKPAC PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, ACTU, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Coalition bid to end double dipping

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 11-Dec-18

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has welcomed the federal government’s response to a Federal Court ruling on the leave entitlements of casual employees. Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says it is unfair that companies could be required to pay both a casual loading and paid leave. She says the government will clarify the situation via regulation under the Fair Work Act. It also plans to introduce legislation aimed at providing casuals who are employed on a regular basis with the right to request that they become permanent employees.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Ex-union boss backs govt on casual pay

Original article by Dana McCauley, Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 24 : 19-Oct-18

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer will make an application to join the Commonwealth as a party to a Federal Court test case on the paid leave entitlements of casual workers. The WorkPac case has prompted concern that casual employees would be entitled to both a casual loading and paid leave. The ACTU has warned that the test case presents a risk to the job security of every permanent employee, but the peak union body’s former president Martin Ferguson says that allowing casuals to "double dip" is contrary to long-established industrial relations rules.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD, ACTU, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Union threat to sue Ombudsman

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Oct-18

The Fair Work Ombudsman recently warned that workers who attend union-organised protest rallies in coming weeks without written approval from their employer risk being prosecuted for unprotected industrial action. However, ACTU secretary Sally McManus argues that the right to attend lawful political protests is protected by the Fair Work Act, and she has accused the FWO of misrepresenting the rights of workers. Unions have also warned of potential legal action if the FWO and employers do not retract their warnings to workers about attending the rallies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, ACTU, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Small business backs flexi worker plan

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 26-Sep-18

The NSW Business Chamber’s proposal to add a new category of "perma-flexi" employees to industry awards has been criticised by ACTU secretary Sally McManus. She says workers would have no certainty regarding their income or hours of work from one week to the next. However, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the proposal has merit, noting that casual workers would be better off financially despite a reduction in their loading from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.

CORPORATES
NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA