Tag results for: workplace
Workplace Bullying - A New Right to Sue?
In October 2012, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment handed down its report on workplace bullying (Workplace Bullying "We Just Want it to Stop"). The report examined various aspects of workplace bullying and made 23 recommendations. Much of the report is necessarily devoted to an analysis of workplace bullying and acknowledgement of the problems associated with its prevalence and cost (both economic and social). Some of the measures will take time to implement, presuming that the requisite inter-governmental agreement can be secured.
The Committee's report reproduced the Ryan Carlisle...Read full article »
Fair Work Act – Change is on the Way
The Fair Work Amendment Bill 2012 was passed by the Senate on 28 November 2012, introducing some important amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act).
The Bill implements some, but not all, of the 53 proposals made by the Fair Work Act Review Panel in its final report, “Towards more productive and equitable workplaces: An evaluation of the Fair Work legislation”, and introduces other changes arising from the government’s consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The Bill received Royal Assent on 4 December 2012, and most of the changes will take effect...Read full article »
Tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available - but how effective are they?
Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades continue to examine legal avenues to compensation.
Part 2: Legal Remedies for Bullying - Tort of Intentional Harm, Anti-Discrimination Laws, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
As noted in Part 1 of the blog, there are thresholds which apply to the recovery of common law damages arising out of personal injury at work, including bullying behavior. In New South Wales, there has been at least one example (Naidu’s Case – see below) of...Read full article »
Bullying at work - tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available, but how effective are they?
Over two instalments, Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades examine legal avenues to compensation.
Part 1: Legal Remedies for Bullying-Criminal Law, Compensation and Negligence
Bullying at work has had a lot of media coverage following the death of Brodie Panlock, who committed suicide after being mercilessly bullied at work. On 31 May 2011, the Victorian Government passed legislation known informally as Brodie’s Law which made bullying a criminal offence in some circumstances.
Bullying can constitute a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004...Read full article »
The Labour Lawyer returns to his correspondence.
Dear Minister for All Things
President: Fair Work Australia
Now that the holiday season has concluded and Parliament has resumed I thought it fair to trouble you again.
As you know the Honourable Geoffrey Giudice AM President of Fair Work Australia is to soon retire after 15 years in the job. No replacement has yet been announced.
Senator Abetz has spoken of the President’s capacity as a “Judicial Officer with the demeanor to match”. Regrettably Abetz has also spoken of recent appointees to Fair Work Australia as “an endless tribe of Trade Union Officials”.
My purpose in writing is...Read full article »
Nurses Dispute: the Victorian Government has an unusual way of making nurses feel wanted
The Ministerial leaks continue.
Dear Minister for All Things
Victorian Public Sector Nurses Dispute
The Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association (VHIA) advised public hospitals last month that during the nurses dispute they "need to connect with their nurses more closely than usual" (my emphasis) and counter or neutralise the ANF's propaganda. The advice went on:
"At the heart of this debate is whether or not nurses can be made to feel that the employers are not trying to "rip off" current conditions and entitlements, particularly with reference to the role...Read full article »
Companies erode job standards through independent contractors
The Labour Lawyer correspondence continues to leak...
Dear Federal Minister for All Things
The position of independent contractors, as distinct from employees, requires attention.
A number of matters are clear:
- There has been a significant increase over the last 10 years in the number of individuals working as independent contractors, both in raw numbers and in the proportion of such workers compared to employees;
- The adoption of independent contractor status is frequently at the initiative of the principal, not the contractor, and the contractor offer involves onerous "take it or leave it" conditions;
- The principal routinely require individuals... Read full article »
How credible is WorkSafe on workplace bullying?
With workplace bullying in the public sector now at 21%, how credible is the Victorian Government's own WorkSafe anti-bullying message?
Dear Minister For All Things,
The absence of any accessible and effective remedies for the overwhelming majority of workplace bullying cases is a scandal.
Government has continued to miss the point on workplace bullying both in its capacity as a major employer and as lawmaker.
Its record as an employer is reflected in the People Matter Survey 2010 of Victorian public sector employees. With almost 19,000 respondents the survey disclosed that:
- 34% of public... Read full article »
Harassment allegations at WorkSafe - media reports
The Age reports today on the worrying culture of bullying allegedly in place at the State's key workers compensation authority, WorkSafe.
The story maintains that bullying and stress claims are at an all-time high within the Authority.
It is embarrassing for WorkSafe that runs a high profile media campaign against workplace bullying, while also encouraging workers to return quickly to work during their rehabilitation.
In the experience of our workplace accident and compensation practice, our injury lawyers are often dismayed by the dismissive nature of WorkSafe to claims made for stress, often as a result of...Read full article »
Vic Govt. vs the unions. Is this what fair bargaining amounts to?
The private correspondence between the Minister for All Things and the Labour Lawyer reveals the real agenda.
Dear Minister for All Things,
Victorian Government Wages Policy
I am puzzled by the Victorian Government's stance on negotiations with public sector unions covering police, teachers, principals and assistant principals, public servants and nurses.
The Government's proposed wage increase for all these public sector employees is limited to 2.5% per annum. Any increase above 2.5% is to be paid for by money taken back from the employees. Accordingly, the real money increase is limited...Read full article »
Women in the Legal Profession: has it really changed?
Senior partner, Angela Sdrinis, reflects on her career and the challenges still facing women lawyers: inequality and the struggle for work-life balance.
The recent TV mini-series Paper Giants which dramatized the rise to fame of Ita Buttrose as the precocious editor of Cleo magazine brought back many memories for me of what it was like to be a professional woman in the 70s.
Sleazy middle-aged barristers thought that young female articled clerks were easy game and it was commonplace to be cornered in a court corridor by Counsel who thought that they were...Read full article »
In the wake of the Kristy Fraser-Kirk case – sexual harassment in the workplace
“No level of sexual harassment is tolerable.”
It’s not everyday that a company like David Jones is so publicly exposed by a sexual harassment case.
The size of the damages sought, the salacious stories about alleged misconduct by the CEO, and the public posturing grabbed everyone’s attention.
What’s undeniable is that the case put sexual harassment in the workplace back in the public eye and top of the topics at BBQs, in bars, in the office, and even around the dinner table. Which is probably a good thing.
Perhaps more...Read full article »