Underpay bosses face bans

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 7-Nov-19

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter says the first responsibility of an employer is to ensure that their staff are being paid fairly. Porter has flagged the possibility of making company directors liable for wage theft by banning them from future directorships, although he adds that such legislation is unlikely to be retrospective. Porter also says there is merit in a proposal to allow the Fair Work Commission to hear claims for underpayment by individual workers, as suggested by ACTU secretary Sally McManus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Unlike: judge wrong in Facebook defamation case

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 23-Jul-19

News Corp Australia will contend that it should not be liable for defamatory comments that are posted by readers of its publications on its Facebook pages. The media group will appeal against a recent Supreme Court of New South Wales ruling with regard to liability for third-party comments on Facebook. News Corp will argue that it is not the primary publisher of such comments, and that media companies use Facebook’s services on term and conditions imposed by the social media giant.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SKY NEWS

Digital giants must take rap for online comments

Original article by Hugh Marks
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 39 : 3-Jul-19

Australian media companies receive little or no revenue from making their content available via digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. However, a recent court ruling means local media companies can be held liable for defamatory comments that are posted on their Facebook pages. At the same time, Facebook’s terms of use do not allow media companies to turn off comments. The federal government needs to take action regarding the issue of control over media content on digital platforms; it must also clarify who is liable for defamatory comments that are posted on such platforms.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Follow the UK on press freedom, PM urged

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-Jun-19

A court ruling that media companies can be regarded as the publisher of comments posted on Facebook has prompted industry leaders to call for legislative action. News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller says the federal government should adopt similar laws to those in the UK, whereby publishers are not legally responsible for comments that their readers post on their social media pages. ABC MD David Anderson also expressed concern about the ruling, while Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks said Facebook should be subject to the same regulations as traditional media.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Facebook ruling sparks call for defamation law overhaul

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 25-Jun-19

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that media companies can be deemed to be the publisher of comments that are posted on their Facebook pages, rendering them liable for comments that are defamatory. The court ruled that News Corp Australia and Nine Entertainment Company are responsible for users’ comments posted on Facebook, arguing that they are able to monitor such comments and prevent defamatory ones from being published. News Corp Australia says the ruling demonstrates the need for changes to the nation’s defamation laws.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, SKY NEWS

Directorships now a risky business

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 4-Jan-19

Business executives say there is a growing reluctance to take on board seats due to heightened financial and reputational risk in the wake of corporate scandals and revelations of misconduct in the financial services sector. CSL non-executive director Christine O’Reilly says personal liability has become a key concern for many company directors. She stresses the importance of undertaking due diligence on a company before accepting a directorship. Hugh Morgan notes that a director’s reputation can be tainted by a scandal of which they were not aware.

CORPORATES
CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, WESTERN MINING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, STOCKLAND – ASX SGP, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SORRENTO SAILING CLUB

Workers’ safety net tightened

Original article by Sarah Elks
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Oct-17

Employees of failed companies have been paid more than $A1bn in total from the Federal Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme in the last five years. However, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has announced plans for reforms which will target directors of failed companies who attempt to avoid liability for employees’ redundancy entitlements. The reforms will not apply retrospectively to companies such as Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel, which collapsed owing some $A70m to its workers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, QUEENSLAND NICKEL PTY LTD, PPB ADVISORY, WARATAH COAL INCORPORATED, CHINA FIRST PTY LTD, ANSETT AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED, NATIONAL TEXTILES LIMITED

Fears lingering over franchisors dodging new law

Original article by Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 27 : 6-Sep-17

The Australian Government’s legislation to protect employees from being exploited is intended to increase the liability of franchisors for the illegal work practices of franchisees. However, Giri Sivaraman of law firm Maurice Blackburn warns that franchisors may try to circumvent the tougher regime by claiming that they had taken reasonable measures to combat wage theft. Higher financial penalties will apply for "deliberate and systematic" underpayment of wages, but the University of Sydney’s Stephen Clibborn cautions that this may be hard to prove.

CORPORATES
MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX, DOMINO’S PIZZA ENTERPRISES LIMITED – ASX DMP

HR managers liable for employer’s actions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 27-Jul-16

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James will address a human resources managers’ forum on 27 July 2016. She will warn that failure to comply with federal industrial relations laws has become entrenched in some sectors of the labour market. James will also stress that HR managers could potentially be held personally liable for any breaches of workplace laws that are condoned by their employer.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Lower test will add fuel to the fire for shareholder class actions

Original article by John Emmering, Michael Legg
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 32 : 13-Mar-15

In most cases, shareholder class actions in Australia are based on alleging causation between losses incurred by shareholders and directors’ behaviour. Until now, Australian courts have required proof of individualised reliance. The Federal Court’s observations in the case against Babcock & Brown directors are likely to stimulate discussion of causality in class actions

CORPORATES
BABCOCK AND BROWN LIMITED, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, DOWNER EDI LIMITED – ASX DOW, ARASOR CORPORATION, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, JONES DAY