Gillard’s IR laws need rework: Lib MPs

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 20-Aug-19

Liberal MPs Tim Wilson, Jason Falinski and Andrew Bragg have called for changes to unfair dismissal laws that were introduced when Julia Gillard was the Labor government’s industrial relations minister. The trio argues that Labor’s Unfair Dismissal Code has also been ineffective, and the number of unfair dismissal cases heard by the Fair Work Commission has risen sharply under Labor’s reforms. A recent review of the code by Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell recommended 15 changes to it.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN

Unfair dismissal: retreat over pay

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-Aug-19

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code is "ambiguous and open to interpretation". She adds that small businesses would be in a better position to comply with the code if ambiguous language were removed. Carnell has also argued the case for the Fair Work Commission to establish a small business division, although she now favours reviewing the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal after a revised code has been operating for at least 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

Business urges new work rules

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jun-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed the federal government’s industrial relations policy in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia on 24 June. Business leaders have outlined the workplace reforms they would like to see during the Coalition’s third term in office. Australian Mines & Metals Association CEO Steve Knott says an overhaul of the enterprise bargaining system should be a priority, as well as changes to the ‘better off overall test’. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson in turn has called for changes to small business dismissal laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

BHP silent on reports driver of runaway 268-car iron ore train in Pilbara is pursuing claim of unfair dismissal

Original article by Stuart McKinnon
The West Australian – Page: Online : 11-Jan-19

BHP has advised that the train driver who was in charge of a Pilbara iron ore train that had to be derailed in November no longer works for the company. However, the resources group has declined to comment on reports that the driver intends to pursue an unfair dismissal case. BHP has indicated that mechanical failure and human error contributed to the incident in which it was forced to deliberately derail the train after it travelled for 50 minutes without a driver.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Unionist gets no joy over sacking

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Jan-19

The full Federal Court has dismissed an application by former union organiser Nick Belan for a judicial review of the Fair Work Commission’s decision in his unfair dismissal case. The FWC had ruled in 2017 that the National Union of Workers had been justified in sacking Belan after he admitted to the trade union royal commission that he had used a union-issued credit card for personal expenses. Belan had contended that the transcript of his evidence before the royal commission was inadmissible in the FWC case.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION

Upset customers, get sacked: Optus

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Age – Page: 11 : 30-Oct-18

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman recently reported that the number of complaints from Optus customers increased by 35 per cent in 2017-18. Optus CEO Allen Lew has warned that employees who are found to have upset customers will be sacked, while staff who observe colleagues who appear to have upset customers are being urged to report them via Optus’s independently-run whistleblower phone line. Lew has told staff that customers are their "boss", not him.

CORPORATES
TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY OMBUDSMAN LIMITED, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, VODAFONE HUTCHISON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, MYREPUBLIC PTE LTD

Employer wins costs after baseless dismissal claim

Original article by Adam Zuchetti
mybusiness.com.au – Page: Online : 11-Sep-18

A woman who lost an unfair dismissal case against her former employer has subsequently been directed by the Fair Work Commission to pay their costs. Joan Obuchowski lost her claim against RNTT in May, with RNTT applying two weeks later for costs to be awarded in defending the case. In agreeing with RNTT’s application in the week beginning 10 September, FWC senior deputy president Jonathan Hamberger said Obuchowski must have known her case had "no reasonable grounds for success". Business groups note it is almost unheard of for employers to be awarded costs in such cases.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, RNTT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS

Push to throw out baseless unfair dismissal claims

Original article by Joe Kelly, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jul-18

Changes to the Fair Work Commission’s procedures for dealing with unfair dismissal cases are among the recommendations of a review undertaken by ex-federal small business minister Bruce Billson. Amongst other things, he has recommended earlier intervention by the FWC to reject unfair dismissal claims against small businesses that are deemed to have no merit. Meanwhile, a new report from the Institute of Public Affairs shows that the number of people employed by small businesses in Australia has fallen by seven per cent over a decade.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, CONCEPT WIRE INDUSTRIES

KPMG review into bungled census ‘compromised’, says whistleblower

Original article by David Marin-Guzman, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 29-Jun-18

Harmers Workplace Lawyers is taking legal action against KPMG and three of its senior executives on behalf of former associate director James Eldridge. KPMG has been accused of taking adverse action against Eldridge; he was dismissed as a result of complaints he made about KPMG’s review of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ IT systems following the flawed 2016 census. Eldridge is said to have told KPMG that he felt that the review was not accurate or independent. KPMG has denied his allegations, and has stated that his dismissal was for "appropriate reasons".

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HARMERS WORKPLACE LAWYERS, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

‘Show them your tits’: Fair Work upholds sacking of car manager

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-Jan-18

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has dismissed an appeal by the former business manager of a Queensland car dealership. Phillip Parker had been dismissed by Cricks Volkswagen for sexual harassment after a female employee alleged that he had made inappropriate comments to her. Parker appealed against the original ruling, citing it as an example of "male inequality".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, CRICKS VOLKSWAGEN