casual offsetting

How to end casual ‘double dipping’

The Australian employment environment was rocked last year following the Federal Court of Australia decision in Workpac v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131. In short, this decision found that employers who incorrectly classify employees as casual instead of full-time or part-time could be responsible for back paying various entitlements under the National Employment Standards (NES). An immediate cry went up that this was effectively allowing ‘double-dipping’ for casuals to receive their casual loading (to cover not receiving the benefits of a permanent employee) …

Office christmas party and legal issues

Employers and the office Christmas Party

I recall going to my very first company Christmas party in my younger days and watching in fascination as the normally quiet office receptionist (having had a few too many cocktails) complained loudly about the lack of a bonus that year. In hindsight, that was the easiest part of the night to deal with as her later heckling of the ‘boss’ (and then the ‘big boss’) during their ‘thanks-for-the-year-that-was’ speech made everyone so uncomfortable that the party basically ended by …

casual conversion

Casuals going permanent. What do you mean it’s the law?!

Picture this… one of your casual employees has asked to see you tomorrow morning to discuss wanting to go permanent. They really caught your attention when they mentioned something about you ‘have to let them because they heard on the news last night that all casuals can now go permanent if they ask‘. Given the sometimes complex and varied changes in our industrial relations systems in Australia, you can be forgiven for being on the backfoot with this question. However, …

Casual unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal…and casuals?

Hands up if you know that casual staff can’t claim for unfair dismissal? If that’s you – think again. In the 2018 decision Gwatkin v Sai Group of Businesses t/as Premier Hotel Pinjarra*, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) held that a casual employee was entitled to an unfair dismissal remedy on the basis they met the minimum employment period, that their work pattern was ‘regular and systematic’ and they had an ongoing expectation of work. [cue sound of record needle …

Why do SME businesses need human resource (HR) services?

In the same way that all business owners are in the business of sales and marketing – all business owners with staff are in the business of human resources (HR). Why do we say that? It can cost up to 50% of a team member’s salary to replace them if you don’t recruit the right person first time around – yep, that’s $35,000 for someone on $70,000 Wages are the single most reported cost pressure for WA businesses – so …

Employment law and franchises

Taking on a franchise has loads of benefits for starting your first business. Don’t know how to market your product? The franchisor does. How do you compete with multinationals? Franchises act like a cooperative in this regard. But how do you legally hire and fire your team (plus everything else in-between)? Well, from an employment perspective, this is where you do need to understand that you’re still an employer in your own right…albeit franchisors now stand to bear some of …

3 (employment) things you need to know before selecting your company structure

In your business’s lifetime, there may come a point you think about changing your business structure. If you’re thinking of becoming a Pty Ltd entity, or making any change that changes which systems of industrial relations apply to your business, there are some things to considering at the planning stage 1) There are two industrial relations systems that apply in Australia The national system – managed by the Fair Work Ombudsman – covers Proprietary Limited companies – that is, Pty …

Casual conversion fair work

Casual right to become permanent

***** Important Note***** As at 1st October 2018, the Fair Work Commission have approved the Model Clause relating to casual conversion rights and obligations for award-covered employees. These changes take affect across the remaining industries not already covered by these provisions. Read our updated article HERE. **************************   For those of us who love staying on top of the latest HR news, it has been hard to miss the major changes that the Fair Work Commission announced following their 4-year …

An HR basic which could save your business money

Did you know… there are two systems of workplace laws in Australia and using the right one could save you money and headaches? Generally speaking, if a business is set up as a “Proprietary Limited company” – that is, as a Pty Ltd entity which hasn’t offered shares to the general public – then staff fall under the national employment system. This is managed by the Fair Work Ombudsman (www.fwo.gov.au). But if a business is set up as a sole …

Have you updated your overtime and shift rates yet?

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) regularly publishes updates to aspects of National System workplace laws. In case you missed it, in December 2017, the FWC published its final decision relating to the treatment of overtime rates and other entitlements in some modern awards. These changes centred on part time and casual employees and took effect from the first full pay cycle commencing on or after 1st January this year. Broadly speaking, the changes introduced overtime rates for casual employees in …