HR News

Human Resources News

23rd August 2017

Reinventing human resources at the workplace

Organisations require a human resources department now more than ever.
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Reducing casual shifts results in unfair dismissal

The employee claimed she was dismissed after her shifts were unilaterally reduced following an investigation of a $100 cash discrepancy following completion of a "change box" shift.
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Regulation of sharing economy urged to prevent exploitation

Greater regulation of the short-term online jobs market is needed to prevent exploitation of vulnerable workers, leading workplace experts have warned.
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WA to get two more public holidays under union's Easter pitch to Labor

A push is underway for two more public holidays to be added to Western Australia's official calendar, with a key union claiming the state's workers are being "dudded".
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Exploitation or breaching your visa: The limited choices of the food delivery worker

Some of the most vulnerable workers in the Australian labour market are squeezed between a rock and a hard place.
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Modern slavery crackdown will force large companies to examine supply chains

The Federal Government has moved to crack down on modern slavery by forcing large businesses to lay out the steps they are taking to eradicate it.
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Dreamworld disaster leads to new industrial manslaughter laws

Forklift drivers in Queensland require more specialist training than those entrusted to operate some of the most extreme amusement rides, a review commissioned after last year's Dreamworld tragedy has found.
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Paddle Pop maker Streets accused of 'industrial blackmail' in push to cut workers' pay

Paddle Pop, Magnum and Golden Gaytime maker Streets ice cream faces accusations of using "industrial blackmail" to push through cuts to staff wages and conditions.
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Hot-desking a hot-button issue but it's not going away

There are few workplace trends more likely to set hackles rising than hot-desking.
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Unions take on All Trades Queensland over apprentice wages

Australia's largest employer of apprentices has mounted another legal challenge to keep Queensland-based trainees the lowest paid in the country.
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16th August 2017

A memo to Google – firing employees with conservative views is anti-diversity

Google’s recent sacking of James Damore for circulating a memo will do the tech giant more harm than good. Not only has the memo been incorrectly dubbed “anti-diversity”, but a majority of Google employees surveyed in a recent poll disagreed with the decision to fire Damore.
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A short history of the office

For centuries people have been getting up, joining a daily commute or retreating to a room, to work. The office has become inseparable from work.
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School cleaning contracts to be slashed in Victoria after workers routinely exploited

Victorian public school cleaning contracts are being slashed in a bid to stop staff being routinely underpaid and exploited by rogue operators.
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Australia must embrace AI revolution with automation set to affect every job, report says

Australia should double its pace of artificial intelligence and robotics automation to reap a $2.2 trillion opportunity by 2030, while also urgently preparing to support more than 3 million workers whose jobs may be at risk, according to a new report.
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Two recent decisions made by the FWC provided comments on problems employers face concerning disciplinary action against employees

Mr Solin had been employed over three years as a production technician and Chevron. Over those three years, he had an unblemished employment record. However, on the bus to work one morning, Mr Solin allegedly made comments that were derogatory towards women, and included racial slurs against Aboriginals.
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Recent unfair dismissal cases: lessons and reminders

Unfair dismissal applications are all too common and employers regularly find themselves in hot water when they are on the receiving end of one. Whilst the outcome of every unfair dismissal case tends to turn on its own individual merits, opportunities to learn and refresh one’s knowledge consistently arise – and knowledge is power when it comes to managing claims risk.
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Salary history: to ask or not to ask?

The question of salary history has long been a topic of disagreement between employers and their prospective employees. One party wants to know, while the other prefers not to tell. Both have what they consider to be valid reasons for their standpoints, and there’s little room for compromise. After all, either a number is revealed or not.
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What is ‘cyberloafing’? And are your employees guilty of it?

Sending personal emails, a bit of online shopping, checking out your friend’s holiday snaps on Facebook: if you break up your work day with online activities that aren’t work-related, you may be guilty of “cyberloafing”.
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Woolworths ordered to pay injured worker $230,000 in compensation after four-year long legal battle

Supermarket giant Woolworths has been ordered to pay a former worker $231,000 in compensation after he successfully appealed a court decision related to a shoulder injury he says was sustained while working at the retailer’s Queensland distribution centre.
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Seven optimum conditions for happiness at work

What are the optimum conditions and indicators of genuine contentment in a workplace?
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Business groups slam planned changes to citizenship

The federal government's plans to tighten requirements to become an Australian citizen have been slammed by business groups who say their members are worried migrant workers awaiting permanent residency may leave Australia, rather than wait for citizenship.
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Pizza Hut slammed by Fair Work Ombudsman as $20,000 underpayment in Newcastle is revealed

A NSW Pizza Hut franchisee has been ordered to pay its workers almost $20,000 in underpaid wages, as the company faces further criticism from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
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9th August 2017

Mining industry push for individual work agreements

Typical mining industry workers would be able to opt out of union-bargained agreements and instead negotiate individual contracts under a new push from the mining industry.
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“Ice-breakers” with fluffy toys are a staff bonding no-no. Here’s what to do instead

A recent story about ABC management requesting staff to engage in ice-breaking activities with fluffy toys generated public derision and made me think about the comedy training videos videos I’ve made showing how crazy some managers can be. Despite the element of fun, companies and government organisations can’t rely on bonding games to make a difference to workplace relationships and productivity.
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Gender quotas can work but it depends on how employees feel about them

If you think your boss is in her position only because of a gender quota and not because of merit, it could affect the work you do for her.
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Lack of sleep is costing the economy more than $66 billion

James Young is among four in 10 Australians who go to work each day without getting enough sleep.
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Workplace Relationships … Does your business need a Disclosure Policy?

The two recent resignations by male AFL executives who had affairs with lower ranked female employees has highlighted a complex yet growing issue for businesses in Australia and around the world.
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Company Confidential: When are employee documents not privileged against their employer?

This week’s TGIF considers what the UK decision of Simpkin v The Berkeley Group Holdings PLC [2017] EWHC 1472 means for insolvency practitioners seeking to access potentially privileged documents created by employees of appointee companies
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ALP plan to name and shame businesses that rip off workers

NSW businesses would have to display minimum wage rates and faced being named and shamed if they underpaid workers under NSW Labor Party policy.
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Facebook liking anti-government posts banned under new public service policy

Checking Facebook and liking a post critical of the Government could be enough to see public servants facing disciplinary action, under new guidelines that also say employees may be held accountable for comments other people make on their Facebook pages.
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Jobseekers increasingly 'trapped' in cycle of casual employment, labour expert says

Employers are increasingly discriminating against job applicants with a history of fixed-term or casual employment by denying permanent roles, one expert says.
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Pay rise not likely anytime soon with wage growth at record lows

Are you happy with your pay packet? Chances are you're not. I mean, who is? Unless you're earning more money than you know what to do with.
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2nd August 2017

Where the boundaries lie in workplace relationships

The fact is that romance will kindle at work, but there are things employers and employees can and should do to manage these situations.
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Contractor or deemed worker?

There is a common misconception that just because someone has an ABN and is paid via their ABN, it automatically means that person is a contractor. Determining the true nature of the relationship between an employer and a hired person needs to be examined in its entirety.
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Court finds employee dismissed because of pregnancy

The employee commenced employment on 7 December 2015 as an administrative assistant with a commercial property real estate agency. In late January 2016 she learnt that she was pregnant. She informed a senior officer of the employer of the pregnancy in early March. On 3 June 2016, the last working day before her probation period expired, she was dismissed.
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Workers' Compensation - Court holds that straight forward light manual task requires prior instructions

The recent Supreme Court decision found that an employer was liable for failing to train and instruct a worker how to lift a wheelie walker from the boot of a vehicle.
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Thinking of Downsizing your Workforce?

Make sure you get the Consultation Process Right — Or the “Redundancies” could turn out to be Unfair Dismissals
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Paramedics seeking burden of proof changes to PTSD compo laws share tales of job stress

Tasmanian paramedics are sharing harrowing tales of life on the job as part of a push for changes to workers' compensation laws.
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What Elon Musk, Richard Branson and 8 other successful people ask job candidates

Many of the most successful people have got job interviews down to a science. They're not in the habit of wasting time with dumb or irrelevant queries. In fact, they often have one favourite go-to question they like to ask. This typically reveals everything they need to know about a job candidate. Check out the questions 10 business leaders love to ask candidates:
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Tony Robbins explains what anyone can do every day, month and year to be more successful

Performance coach Tony Robbins has seven clients he works with on an individual basis, and each pay him $US1 million annually. There are some aspects of Robbins' method for personal development, however, that don't require hours of discussions and introspection, and they don't cost anything, either.
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Wage inspectors and licensing for labour hire companies

Workplace inspectors would get new powers to raid workplaces to check people were not being underpaid and labour hire companies would need to comply with new licensing agreements under a NSW Labor crackdown on wage theft.
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Australia's gender pay gap to last another 50 years

The entrenched gender pay gap is expected to remain in Australian workplaces until at least 2067, a federal government agency has told Parliament.
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Why employers should address loneliness in the workplace

Before her tragic death in June 2016, British MP Jo Cox spent a year gathering detailed evidence about the causes of social isolation for a major commission into loneliness, which colleagues have now launched in her memory. Among the findings is research showing that although one-fifth of the population say they are always or often lonely, two-thirds feel uncomfortable admitting it
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26th July 2017

CFMEU rep apologises to court for contempt over AGL search warrant

A former mining union official allegedly involved with the January shutdown of Victoria's biggest power plant has unreservedly apologised to the court.
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Casual Employment Arrangements Due For A Check-up Following Fair Work Commission’s Review Of Modern Awards

If you are an employer, the recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) is likely to affect the way that you manage your staff.
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Why Envato is sharing its millions in profit with employees and suggesting they buy alpacas with the dividends

Australian design and e-commerce startup Envato’s profits have become so significant the business has decided it has more than it needs to keep growing, and some of that windfall should be shared with its staff.
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Brisbane bus strike raises safety concerns for 23,000 school children on Friday

There are concerns for the safety of 23,000 school children as Brisbane bus drivers prepare to take strike action on Friday afternoon.
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Breach of JK Rowling book embargo led to unfair sacking of courier depot manager

The depot manager at an Australian courier company was unfairly sacked after he was accused of being responsible for the breach of a worldwide embargo on the J.K. Rowling book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Fair Work Commission has found.
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Why you eat like your colleagues

They say your friends can make you fat, but your colleagues could be the real culprits.
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BOM strike: Bureau of Meteorology staff to take industrial action for next three weeks

Staff at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) are going on strike for three weeks, after being locked in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions for three years.
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Three Square Market offers to implant RFID chips in its employees

Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come August 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.
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Former 7-Eleven operator penalised $168,000 for underpaying workers after judge finds “deliberate disregard” for correct entitlements

A former 7-Eleven store operator has been penalised $168,000 as a result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman, with the Federal Circuit Court judge slamming the operator’s actions as involving a “deliberate disregard of the employees’ workplace entitlements”.
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Despite all the perks tech companies offer their people, there's one crucial area they fall short

Tech companies are famous for their stellar perks. But, according to a recent study from ratings platform ViewsHub, they’re lacking something far more important than foosball tables, bean bag chairs, or having rosé on tap.
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Opinion: HR on the edge of a cliff

Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith outlines how HR will be at the heart of business disruption – but it must first reinvent itself
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19th July 2017

How 88 days can turn into a nightmare of debt and despair for backpackers

It's been raining overnight and farms are ringing the backpacker working hostel to cancel the buses.
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Amber Harrison says Seven case a 'wake-up call' for women experiencing workplace bullying, discrimination

Amber Harrison has slammed "the boys club" in corporate Australia after losing an ugly court battle with the Seven Network and being ordered to pay the media giant's legal bills.
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Chinese, Korean and Spanish websites advertise illegal pay rates as little as $4.20 an hour

Four out of five businesses advertising Australian jobs on Chinese, Korean and Spanish language websites are offering illegal pay rates as low as $4.20 per hour, a new audit has found.
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Brisbane bus strike: Thousands of commuters warned to expect delays during two-day action

Up to 35,000 early-morning commuters in Brisbane are being told to expect major delays due to a bus driver strike over the next two days.
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Religion is the new frontier in workplace discrimination

David Brent, the antihero of the classic British satire The Office, had a crude line in jokes about race, disability, sex and sexuality.
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Majority of foreign workers paid below national award rates, Unions NSW says

The peak union body in New South Wales says migrant workers are being paid far below national standards through job listings in foreign language publications and urgent action is needed to stop it.
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Employment of older workers improves, but Australia still lags behind New Zealand

As a sixty-six-year-old with senior industry qualifications, Alister Robertson has met some employers who have not wanted to hire someone his age, despite his experience.
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JB Hi-Fi commits to maintaining penalty rates for workers, but is it “all politics”?

Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi has joined the growing ranks of Australian retailers choosing not to pass on lowered Sunday penalty rates decided by the Fair Work Commission earlier this year.
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Casual Conversion – What does it mean?

A full bench of the Fair Work Commission has made orders opening the door for “casual conversion” clauses to be inserted into 85 Modern Awards which do not currently have a similar provision.
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Employer's obligations on snow days

With the arrival of snow in the South Island this morning, questions are already being asked about what employer’s obligations are when snow days occur.
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Darling Harbour restaurant ordered to pay $15,000 for unfair dismissal

Darling Harbour restaurant Baia The Italian has been ordered to pay $15,000 in compensation for the unfair dismissal of an employee who complained about being allegedly underpaid.
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Dainty Sichuan alleged to have paid workers $10 an hour for seven-day weeks, 10-hour plus days

Popular Melbourne restaurant Dainty Sichuan allegedly paid employees $10 an hour while they worked 10 hour-plus shifts, seven days a week.
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12th July 2017

TripAdvisor teams up with Deliveroo, while Fair Work investigation into gig economy continues

One of the world's largest travel websites, TripAdvisor, has partnered with Deliveroo in a deal which spans several countries including Australia.
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When the boss wants you to do something unethical

Maybe you're asked to mislead a customer. Maybe you're told to lie to a client, or take a shortcut you know would produce an inferior product.
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Former UniLodge caretakers claim $700,000 in unpaid wages

A married couple who were on call overnight as residential caretakers at a UniLodge student accommodation block of units allegedly received just $108 in net pay for a year's work after "free" rent was deducted from their combined salary.
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Lawyers look to expand Airservices Australia class action

A looming court battle involving Airservices Australia is set to expand to cover allegations of "sham contracting" and the use of outlawed "zombie agreements".
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'A ball of tears': Ciara Burke was fired by Emirates after falling down stairs

After months of hard work, she was scheduled to finish her final assessments at the Emirates training college in Dubai. Within days she expected to graduate as a fully-fledged flight attendant. That didn't happen. Instead, the 23-year-old from Perth fell down a flight of stairs at the training facility in her uniform's red heels.
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Minimum wage push for gig economy workers

A government review of the rapidly changing world of work is to demand a radical overhaul of employment law and new guarantees on the minimum wage.
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Rise of the machines: What jobs will survive as robots move into the workplace?

The invasion of robots into factories and offices has long been seen as final blow for workforces ravaged by cheap offshore labour and the never ending quest to cut costs.
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Casual workers win right to request permanent employment after 12 months under Fair Work ruling

Casual workers have won the right to request permanent employment if they work regular hours over a year, under a ruling by the industrial umpire.
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TAFE SA manager jailed for stealing $150,000

A former TAFE SA manager who stole more than $150,000 from her employer has been jailed for at least 18 months.
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Security firm accused of saying staff would be sent “straight to the dole queue” if they spoke to Fair Work inspectors

A Gold Coast security firm will face the Federal Circuit Court over claims the business took adverse action against three employees and underpaid staff $16,000, in a series of alleged actions ombudsman Natalie James has called “completely unacceptable”.
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How the wellbeing agenda is reshaping HR roles

http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/jobs-news/market-pulse-how-the-wellbeing-agenda-is-reshaping-hr-roles/93387
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5th July 2017

Workplace law breaches: Third party business advisors beware

HR advisors, accountants and payroll providers take note - you may be personally liable for breaches of the Fair Work act
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Silence not necessarily golden

The common law privilege against self-incrimination is a well-established legal principle, long recognised by Australian courts as an essential protection.
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The 1 July changes that will impact your business

The new financial year is just a few days away and whilst this is usually an extremely busy time of the year for most businesses, it’s also prime time for employers to review their employment framework, including the impact of increases to the minimum wage and high-income threshold, changes made to modern awards and new workplace laws that might affect your business.
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The office narcissist: how to spot (and deal with) them

The person whose self-belief exceeds their abilities, who rides roughshod over your considered opinions and practices, who's basically very focused on themselves.
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Domestic violence leave: Fair Work Commission's rejection of bid still a positive first step, says ACTU's Ged Kearney

The Fair Work Commission's rejection of a bid to make domestic violence leave a minimum standard for all workers is a move in the right direction, according to the country's top union boss.
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DPM&C study finds public servants more likely to hire women

Years of public service gender diversity efforts may have succeeded in making bureaucrats more likely to hire women then men, a new study by the Prime Minister's "nudge unit" suggests.
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Men join corporate boards with less experience than women do

More than three out of four new male company directors are rookies, appointed with no prior corporate board experience, according to a new study of the world's biggest publicly traded companies.
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Horticulture industry pushes to change pay rates for workers outside the 'farm gate'

Australia's biggest potato grower is leading a national push to pay employees like Kay Rault who work in packing and storage sheds located off farm sites the same rates as lower-paid farm workers.
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How to play defence in office politics and keep your integrity

Whether you're a team member or a manager, the modern workforce requires a great deal of teamwork and collaboration. Even if you mostly work autonomously, it's prudent to have some good will in the bank.
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Bill Shorten's penalty rate play could bring "chaos"

Reversal of the Fair Work Commission's decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates in industries including the hospitality and retail sectors could lead to industrial "chaos" and reduce wages to a political "plaything" experts warn.
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Fair Work Ombudsman takes aim at advice firm over claims of misleading employer clients

The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken aim at a workplace advice firm, alleging customers have complained about being misled into believing it was associated with the ombudsman’s office.
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Should you do away with the annual performance review?

For many employees the end of the financial year signals performance review time. The dreaded time of the year when they sit down with their supervisor and receive feedback on their performance over the previous 12 months.
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28th June 2017

Women are twice as likely than men to lose their jobs to robots

As automation threatens the existence of millions of jobs across the US, not every American is equally at risk of being replaced by a robot. Twice as many women than men are likely to lose their jobs as automation replaces human labour, according to a recent report by the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA).
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Firers and hirers: Australia's fastest growing jobs

Australia is shedding jobs for retailers and farmers by the tens of thousands as we become a country of carers and builders. That's the verdict from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which released its detailed labour force data on Thursday..
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Victorian training company pocketed millions using dodgy contracts, court told

A company contracted to run engineering training programs through some of the state's TAFEs pocketed almost $2 million of public money through dodgy contracts, a hearing was told.
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Unpaid internships: Millennials speak out as expert warns of legal risks

Unpaid internships are increasingly becoming the default way of beginning a professional career in Australia.
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Last-ditch bid to save Sunday penalty rates in retail, fast food, hospitality

Controversial cuts to Sunday penalty rates for hundreds of thousands of workers are facing a last-minute legal challenge, with unions seeking urgent hearings to stop them taking effect next weekend.
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'Merry go round' of unpaid interns provide accounting and finance services

A constant flow of unpaid interns provide free accounting and finance work for businesses, raising questions about whether Fair Work laws need to be tightened.
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'When we come after you, you'd better be careful': Union threatens ABCC inspectors at Melbourne rally

Victorian construction union leader John Setka has threatened to hunt down and "expose" Australian Building and Construction Commission inspectors, warning: "When we come after you, you'd better be careful."
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Victorian SES staff were underpaid by more than $220,000 over eight years, review finds

Dozens of Victorian State Emergency Service staff have been underpaid by a total of more than $220,000 over eight years, but will be compensated with interest, the organisation says.
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Harnessing Human Resources

The nation's youth are being talked about in circles of both the informed and the uninformed with diverse outlook and understanding.
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Why smart employees don’t have lunch at their desk

After a grueling morning, the lunch break is an important period for employees to re-charge and relax. While most employees prefer going out for lunch to stretch their legs after hours of sitting, there are those who prefer the peacefulness and comfort of a deserted office.
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Can human resources work be automated?

Can computers really do human resources functions like recruiting, retention and worker evaluations?
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New commissioner will have his eye on "bad to the bone" conduct

Like a theme song for his new commission to catch unions and employer groups involved in corruption, Mark Bielecki's mobile phone went off to the guitar strums of George Thoroughgood's Bad to the Bone.
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21st June 2017

This South Korean start-up is only hiring people over 55

Channel NewsAsia reports the founder of content monitoring company EverYoung established the rule to prove the futility of age discrimination – a phenomenon that’s reportedly prevalent in modern Korean corporate culture.
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Perth Mint staff may be forced to wear work-issued bras to improve security

The Perth Mint is considering a ban on all clothing containing metal, including underwire bras, in a bid to boost security.
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When to take a mental health day

Mental health issues are one of the most common forms of illness in Australia with 3 million of us currently living with anxiety or depression alone. But it's not just our personal lives that are affected by mental health. It's our work and careers, too. A recent report conducted by Beyond Blue showed that one in every five Australians took time off in the last 12 months due to mental health issues.
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Melbourne HR software startup raises $US20 million funding

Australian human resources tech company Culture Amp announced that it has secured $US20 million in new capital from the US.
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Union power makes its mark with domestic violence leave

WA’s biggest employer granted all of its employees a new paid leave entitlement, claimable up to 10 days per year. It wasn’t an entitlement won after extensive negotiation, nor traded off for other pay and conditions. It was simply ordered by the Premier...
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“At 36 weeks pregnant, I started a new job”: Why an inclusive mindset is everything at work

In February, I accepted a new job in the Victorian Government sector while 34 weeks pregnant. I started the new job while at 36 weeks. I spent two weeks in my new role before going on maternity leave. Crazy — you might say — both the employer and me! However, this is an example of how an open and inclusive mindset led to a successful outcome for everyone involved.
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Working from home lifts employee productivity

More businesses are allowing staff to work from home, with studies showing it increases employee productivity. Telsyte research shows 84 per cent of Australian organisations have systems permitting their employees to work remotely.
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How artificial intelligence will affect your job

The same technology that enables a navigation app to find the most efficient route to your destination or lets an online store recommend products based on past purchases is on the verge of transforming the office — promising to remake how we look for job candidates, get the most out of workers and keep our best workers on the job.
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Employers urged to follow Bunnings’ lead and hire older workers

As outrage builds over a proposal to force Australians to work until 70, experts are urging businesses to follow the example of hardware giant Bunnings and unleash the untapped labour of older workers.
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35 things you should remove from your résumé before it ends up in the 'no' pile

Hiring managers rarely have the time or resources to look at each résumé closely. They typically spend about six seconds on their initial "fit/no fit" decision. If you want to pass that test, you need to have some solid qualifications – and the perfect résumé to highlight them.
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This CEO meets every interviewee and these are his top hiring tips

Luis von Ahn, CEO and founder of language learning app Duolingo, meets with every single person interviewing at his company. He says "The best hiring advice that I've ever got is: 'When in doubt, don't hire,'".
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Yoga and free fruit won't solve the scourge of workplace stress

National Mental Health Commissioner Lucinda Brogden says employers have a legal responsibility to provide a workplace that is both physically and psychologically safe. But, she says, too many employers offer "positive extras" and shirk the hard stuff. "We try to jump to the positive – introducing the yoga, the fruit bowl, the staff party – but you have to work on reducing the negative before you can introduce the positive," Brogden told a banking and finance ethics conference in Sydney last week.
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14th June 2017

Australian workers getting a record low share of GDP: report

The share of Australian gross domestic product going into workers' pockets has hit a record low, according to a new report.
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7-Eleven compensation bill climbs over $110 million

Compensation paid out to underpaid 7-Eleven workers has tipped over $110 million, fuelling criticism of failures in Australia's employment law system to keep wage theft in check.
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Retail giant Aldi faces claims of wage theft and breaking the law

When Nichole McLaughlin asks her partner Paul Joyner what time he will be home from work, he often cannot answer. With no finish time on his roster, Mr Joyner - a permanent part-time worker, not a casual - does not know what time he will leave work at Aldi's Stapylton distribution centre.
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No flies on Australia’s richest union

Imagine a company that received millions of dollars in government grants each year, paid no tax as it held charitable status, owned recruitment agencies and also owned a law firm that fought against penalty rates for young workers and workplace leave for victims of domestic violence. There is such a company.
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Labor signals plan to beef up union power to help boost wage growth

Labor has signalled it plans to strengthen the bargaining power of workers and unions in an attempt to revitalise stagnant wages. The party’s deputy leader, Tanya Plibersek, says there is a clear link between declining union membership, the lowering of workers’ bargaining power, and today’s low wage growth, and the link between labour productivity and wages must be restored “at the very least”.
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Workplace death compensation plan for WA

The lump sum compensation paid to dependents of people who die in workplace accidents will increase from about $304,000 to more than $554,000 under a proposal by the West Australian government. Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/06/12/10/10/workplace-death-compensation-plan-for-wa#hYBuyb66COYgx0RZ.99
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The Fair Work Commission Decision to Phase in Changes to Penalty Rates – Key Dates

An explanation of how the FWC has determined to phase in the reductions to Sunday penalty rates over four years.
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Anti-social media: 4 ways to manage social media and cyber-bullying in the workplace

Whilst technology and social media have unquestionably provided many benefits to the modern workplace and opportunities for businesses to reach a wider audience, they have also presented dilemmas for HR managers and business owners when dealing with interactions between employees.
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Working mums juggling career and kids feel 'mother's guilt', researcher says

Dr Judy Rose, whose recently published paper — Never enough hours in the day: Employed mothers' perceptions of time pressure — explores the concept of mother's guilt and how the stress of juggling work and family can not only have negative mental and physical effects but "actually changes women's perceptions of time".
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Telstra confirms 1,400 jobs to go in Australia

Telstra's decision to slash jobs may be because "for the last few years, growth has been very slow in the telecommunications industry," according to telecommunications analyst Paul Budde. The most at-risk jobs would be in administration, customer service and network operations as they are easily automated by improvements in technology, he explained.
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Employer justified in dismissing employee for offensive and damaging email

In a recent case where an employee sent an offensive and damaging email about the employer’s clients, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has ruled in favour of the employer and affirmed the employer’s decisions to terminate the employee’s employment. This case serves as a solid reminder to employers to have stringent email and IT policies, and make employees aware of the standards of conduct that are expected of them.
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Class Action Suits On The Horizon? Burnout?

A recent Wall Street Journal article, 'Law Firms Tackle a Taboo', revealed that some major law firms don’t know what they don’t know. The article focused on mental health; specifically stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, and suicide with a focus on what some law firms are doing about it and what others refuse to do.
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Research shows if you improve the air quality at work, you improve productivity

Corporate wellness programs focus on biometric screening, diet and exercise programs to improve health and productivity. However, new research has shown the quality of the office environment itself can have significant negative effects on thinking, health and productivity.
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These are the characteristics of people most likely to cut corners at work

A study found that employees who “cut corners” tend to be morally compromised, low in conscientiousness, self-focused and impulsive. This in addition to the potential for corner-cutting to increase risks.
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Byron Bay Superfoods' pursuit of sacked worker 'vindictive': Fair Work Commission

When Nathaniel Garang produced a medical certificate after he had gastroenteritis, his boss at a health food factory said his time off work was "unacceptable" and would be taken out of his annual leave. His manager threatened to never recommend him "as an honourable person/employee, due to your recent dishonest behaviour".
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Unsustainable labour challenges leave Australia's vegetable supplies to rot

A quarter of Australia's vegetable growers are forced to abandon valuable produce which is left to rot because they can't find enough workers to pick and pack it, a new report has found.
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Australians aren't being paid for their productivity. Get set for an industrial relations war

The issue of industrial relations has for the most part been on the backburner in the past few election campaigns, but slow wages growth and a lack of increased income off the back of productivity growth might be enough to shake things up.
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This is exactly what you should do if you want a pay rise

At some point in your career, you’ll probably start to feel like you should be earning more money. While some people may opt to change jobs when this happens, for others who are quite happy where they are, it could be time to considering asking for a pay rise.
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States urged to introduce legislation to curb wage theft

States have been urged to introduce new laws against wage theft in the wake of rampant underpayment of workers at widespread wage theft by cafes, restaurants in university towns and retail chains including 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Caltex and Bakers Delight.
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Enterprise agreement drafting: the value of getting it right - and the way to do it

In the 1983 hit "Words", singer F.R. David famously sang "Words don't come easy to me". While that lament was in the context of expressing love, the same problem can sometimes afflict those who draft enterprise agreements.
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New labour hire licensing laws in Queensland will affect providers AND their clients

A new mandatory labour hire licensing scheme will soon apply to all labour hire providers operating in Queensland - and it will also ban businesses from entering into labour hire arrangements with unlicensed providers.
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Fair Work Commission suspends investigation and disciplinary process to hear bullying claim

In the recent decision of Lynette Bayly [2017] FWC 1886, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued interim orders preventing the employer from finalising a workplace investigation or imposing any disciplinary action until the employee’s workplace bullying application is heard.
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Why Swedish workplaces aren't as equal as you think

Sweden may have a global reputation as one of world's most gender equal societies but when it comes to female representation in business, campaigners question whether the Nordic nation is right to keep basking in the spotlight, as progress slows down back home.
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Fox News fires Bob Beckel for 'making an insensitive remark' to black employee

Fox News on Friday announced that it had fired "The Five" co-host Bob Beckel for a remark he made to an employee of color.
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WA pay freeze: Some public servants to escape $1,000 wage hike limit

Some of the state's highest paid workers will escape the WA government's $1,000 limit on pay rises until late 2019, with doctors set to enjoy increases almost six times that amount.
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Sydney bus strike brings chaos for parents, students and peak hour commuters

Sydney commuters and motorists face more peak hour chaos, as bus drivers continue their strike against the New South Wales Government's plans to privatise services in Sydney's inner-west.
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Unemployment drops to 5.7pc with about 37,000 jobs created

Australia's unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in April due to the creation of more than 37,000 jobs, although they were all part-time.
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Lorna Jane employee suing over alleged fat shaming had history of psychiatric issues, court told

A woman suing Lorna Jane over allegations of fat shaming had a lengthy history of psychiatric issues before she started working for the activewear company, a court has heard.
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Human Resources Isn’t About Humans

HR was never meant for you. That’s why it doesn’t work.
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The 10 habits of bad bosses

Working with a bad manager seems to be something almost every worker has to deal with at some point in their career. Bosses with acid tongues are highly unpopular among employees, and they are only the tip of the iceberg of bad bosses and their vicious behaviour toward employees
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The Intersection Of Artificial Intelligence And Human Resources

In the workplace, artificial intelligence is evolving into an intelligent assistant to help us work smarter. Artificial intelligence is not the future of the workplace, it is the present and happening today.
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States urged to introduce legislation to curb wage theft

States have been urged to introduce new laws against wage theft in the wake of rampant underpayment of workers at widespread wage theft by cafes, restaurants in university towns and retail chains including 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Caltex and Bakers Delight.
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17 May 2017

Sacked for not wearing pants. What is the world coming to?

It’s that age old story we’ve heard a thousand times. Company (allegedly) fails to provide a promised laundry service. Workers protest by not wearing pants. Pantsless worker gets the sack.
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McDonald’s trials recruitment via Snapchat, but could social media job applications present big risks?

Could photo-sharing application Snapchat uncover your next star employee? Fast-food giant McDonald’s thinks it could, and is hoping to attract a talented millennial workforce by introducing Snapchat-based job applications.
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Law changes needed to fix ‘illogical’ unfair dismissal decisions, says former Fair Work vice-president Graeme Watson

A former vice-president of the Fair Work Commission says legislative reform is the only answer for protecting employers against unfair dismissal decisions that defy “logic”.
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Defamation, privacy breaches and misrepresentation claims: the perils of giving job references

You apply for a job you really want, but don’t get it. Later you find out that the person you nominated to act as a referee gave you a bad reference, and that was the reason you missed out on the job.
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What the 'typical' Australian worker doesn't tell us about modern work

The "typical" Australian works full-time and has been in the same job for three to five years, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
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Brisbane shelf-stacker secures key win against might of Coles, SDA

A Brisbane night-fill worker has won an important legal battle in a massive underpayment case against the combined might of Coles and one of the largest trade unions in Australia.
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Union boss wants underpaying employers jailed for 'wage theft'

Bosses who underpay workers would be sent to jail under a plan floated by senior union leader Tony Sheldon.
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Coates Hire workers in danger of 'devastating' pay cut.

Hundreds of workers at Australia's largest equipment-hire business face a pay cut of up to 40 per cent unless they agree to let the company slash new employees' wages and conditions.
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United Voice faces legal action over penalty rate protest

One of the state’s most powerful left-wing unions is being threatened with legal action for allegedly breaking the Liquor and Fair Work Acts.
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KFC fined more than $100,000 after teen falls into vat of hot oil

Fast-food chain KFC has been fined more than $100,000 two years after a 16-year-old worker tripped and fell into a vat of hot cooking oil, suffering third-degree burns.
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10 May 2017

Computer glitch hits super payments of thousands of public servants

Computer glitches are being blamed for the failure to pay millions of dollars into retirement savings of thousands of public servants at several large federal departments in recent months.
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Domino's cops landmark fine for breaching franchise code

Domino's Pizza has been hit with a landmark fine for failing to comply with the rules governing franchise chains.
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Crisis averted: Loy Yang power plant workers ordered to call off strike

Industrial action at one of Victoria's largest power plants won't go ahead after the state government stepped in to stop the strike.
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Victorian state schools cleaners being underpaid, denied basic entitlements, union says

Cleaners working at Victorian state schools are being underpaid and denied basic entitlements in an industry where "fear and intimidation is endemic", according to a union investigation.
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Jane Holden: Former CEO of Hobart hospital loses wrongful dismissal case against Government

A former Tasmanian health boss has lost her wrongful dismissal case against the Tasmanian Government and may be forced to pay court costs.
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People who can't stop: Meet some of the world's oldest workers

As Prince Philip, who turns 96 in June, is to retire from royal duties later this year, we look at some of those people who enjoy their work so much they have decided to carry on - well, most of them a bit longer than the Duke of Edinburgh.
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The very possible path to a 30-hour working week

This year, May Day fell after a run of three consecutive four-day working weeks. If you're lucky enough to live in Queensland, then the Labour Day public holiday was be the culmination of a month of shorter working weeks.
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Unions call for ACT to follow Queensland on stricter regulation of labour hire firms

As the Queensland government introduces a licensing scheme to weed out rogue operators, UnionsACT secretary Alex White said the ACT government did not not have sufficient safeguards to protect workers from "unscrupulous" labour hire companies despite shifting to a centralised contractor management system recently.
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Restraint Of Trade Clauses: Lessons For Employers

Employers who want to protect their legitimate business interests in preventing former staff poaching their clients and staff have important lessons to learn.
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3 May 2017

Microsoft extends paid parental leave to 20 weeks and sets new benchmark

Computer software giant Microsoft will set new standards by extending paid maternity leave to 20 weeks and providing four weeks of paid leave for employees to care for a seriously ill family member.
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Tougher fines needed to stop records of underpayment being hidden

Fines for shoddy bookkeeping are too low to deter businesses from underpaying workers and is helping them avoid prosecution.
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Investigating bullying or bullying by investigation?

Recent legal cases explore an employer's duties to the accused during a workplace investigation.
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Airtasker agrees to minimum working conditions for 'gig economy' contractors

Airtasker, the online facilitator of odd jobs, has agreed to minimum working conditions for its service providers in what is being described as a world first in the so-called gig economy.
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HSU accuses Guardian Property Services of exploiting its aged care facility cleaners

A cleaning company that provides services to aged care facilities like Anglicare has been accused of underpaying and exploiting its staff by the Health Services Union (HSU).
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Anti bullying order used to stop employer from finalising a misconduct investigation and taking disciplinary action

The FWC can make binding orders when it is satisfied that a worker has been bullied at work and there is a risk that the bullying will continue.
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Adriano Zumbo accused of staff underpayments … Victoria to launch traineeship taskforce … New underquoting laws now in action

Pastry king Adriano Zumbo is the latest celebrity chef to face claims that employees have been underpaid, with Zumbo Pattiserie staff members complaining in an A Current Affair story aired last night that they had not been paid their superannuation entitlements, and had been paid incorrectly or not on time on a number of occasions.
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Budget 2017: Malcolm Turnbull announces schools funding and a new Gonski review

The Turnbull government is seeking to seize the political initiative on schools, with a substantial funding injection and the appointment of David Gonski — who delivered the 2011 landmark schools report — to chair a “Gonski 2.0” review on how to improve the results of Australian students. The Conversation
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Accounting firm found liable for client’s employee underpayment in precedent-setting decision

In what could be a precedent-setting legal decision, the Federal Circuit Court has found an accounting business to be liable for contraventions in the Fair Work Act when it provided payroll services to a client, which was found to be underpaying staff.
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26 April 2017


Degrees of separation: companies shed degree requirements to promote merit over qualifications

That some companies are relaxing degree requirements raises new questions about the value of a university education. The question is whether these few companies are outliers or the forerunners of a new trend of preferencing merit over qualifications. If the trend does persist, then the job market of the future may have as little barriers to entry as the job market of the 1970s.

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Unions vow to take on Amazon as its harsh reputation precedes it

Around the world, Amazon is famous for its low prices, fast delivery, ruthless efficiency and antipathy towards unions that say it treats workers like robots.

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AOC's Mike Tancred steps down amid bullying allegations

The Australian Olympic Committee has announced media director Mike Tancred is standing down from his position, pending the outcome of any investigation of the complaint made against him by former chief executive Fiona de Jong.

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HR, coders and manufacturing: The occupations most affected by 457 visa changes

The Federal Government's changes to temporary migration visas would have affected less than 10 per cent of the visas granted in the second half of 2016, official data shows.

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Bill O'Reilly loses job at Fox News over sexual harassment claims

Fox News has decided to part ways with star cable news host Bill O'Reilly following allegations of sexual harassment, the company said.

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Outback Steakhouse accused of using training scheme to underpay staff

A national restaurant chain signed up its young workers to government-subsidised hospitality traineeships which were used to reduce their pay to half the national award rate.

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From hotdesking to dog parks, which office trends should your business follow?

Nobody starts a business and is immediately able to waltz into a shiny high-rise, demanding the entire 31st floor, with a gym and city views. Most of the time, successful ventures begin at kitchen tables or in garages, or at cafe tables as entrepreneurs use their lunch breaks to launch the next big thing.

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What happens when you don’t pay penalty rates

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates across hospitality, retail and pharmacy sectors has served as a timely reminder to small business owners grappling with the complexity of pay entitlements across 122 modern awards.

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How to use Facebook Messenger for business

Facebook Messenger is the biggest messaging platform in Australia, with more than 42% of Australian internet users active on the platform and over a billion messages being sent between people and businesses on Messenger each month.

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The Walkley Foundation launches award for best industrial reporting

The Walkley Foundation has announced a new national award for exceptional industrial relations reporting by Australian journalists.

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Human Resource's Role in Shaping the Digital Future of Work the Focus of Bersin by Deloitte's IMPACT 2017

Human resources' role in shaping the future of work is the focus of presentations and working sessions at Bersin by Deloitte's IMPACT 2017.

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19 April 2017



Employers pay for staff racism, even if they have racial discrimination policies

In a court case Australia Post and one of its employees were ordered to pay $40,000 in compensation to a contractor who was subjected to a series of racial taunts and told to, "Go home to Sri Lanka by boat."

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Why Tuesday is the most productive day of the week?

It's the best day to make a dent on a big project, or to collaborate with colleagues, or meet with clients or other contacts. I've heard it's a good day to schedule an interview or ask your boss for a pay rise.

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Australian government axes 457 work visa: experts react

The Turnbull government is axing the 457 visa program and replacing it with a new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa but it might not have the desired affect on the labour market.

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Anti-bullying vs disciplinary process: Fair Work Commission asked to find the balance

Anti-bullying laws might be used by employees facing a potentially adverse disciplinary process to delay or halt it.

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Avoid findings of unfair dismissal: When is redundancy “genuine redundancy”?

The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) has recently ordered the reinstatement of four employees of Staples Australia Pty Ltd (Staples) after finding that they were not made “genuinely redundant”.

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Senior employees and managers cry "adverse action!" at every turn

Employers shouldn't fear giving their executives lawful and reasonable directions at work, but at the rate senior employees are litigating, employers are right to feel uncertain about the operation of adverse action protections.

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Is It Worth Trying To Improve Our Wellbeing?

LinkedIn discussion, spurred by an article based on an interview with Martin Seligman

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Unfair dismissal case confirms the importance of trust and confidence

Where conduct is so egregious that it destroys the necessary trust and confidence in the employment relationship, the Commission will be more willing to find that dismissal is appropriate.

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12 April 2017


CFMEU and officials fined $590,800 for industrial action

The national construction union and ten of its officials have been fined a total of $590,800 for an industrial campaign in 2014 that targeted construction sites in Victoria.




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Former staff claim Calombaris empire routinely ignored penalty rates

Full-time managers and chefs employed at George Calombaris' restaurants routinely worked more than 50 hours a week without correct penalty rates or overtime, it has been claimed, in what was described as common practice at the hospitality empire during its rapid expansion.




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JPMorgan boss says depressing wages for low-paid workers is not good for business

At first blush, ACTU secretary Sally McManus and one of Wall Street's most powerful bankers, Jamie Dimon, would seem unlikely allies on the key battlefield of industrial relations and pay.




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Labour wants balanced industrial relations

Labour is looking to bring more "balance" to industrial bargaining. Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson would not be drawn on the question of a move to industry-wide negotiation for pay, telling Q&A on Sunday "announcements will be made before the election in this area".




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News Seven West Media beefs up human resources department with appointment of Katie McGrath

McGrath will join the senior executive team and report to SWM CEO Tim Worner. She joins Seven after seven years with advertising parent company the Enero Group, of which the last four and a half years she was group HR director. Before that she was the human resources director for Enero ad agency BMF.




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6 symptoms of princess sickness in the office

In today’s workplace, it is not uncommon for the human resources department to encounter parents of candidates tagging along to job interviews. While most hiring managers are smart enough to quickly disqualify these kids with helicopter parents from the hiring process, job seekers with princess or prince sickness are a little more difficult to spot.




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Starbucks to offer health insurance to workers’ parents

As of 1 June this year, Starbucks employees across mainland China will be able to add their parents to the company’s health insurance plan. The new policy will benefit over 10,000 parents, the company says.




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