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2022- The Year Ahead

As we look over the year that was, and forward to 2022, now is the perfect time to reflect on the goals that your business would like to achieve in the coming year and how to best align your staffing needs, employment practices, and HR functions with those goals.

Managing Risk At Work Christmas Parties In The Era of COVID-19

As Australians emerge from lengthy lockdowns and are making their way back to the workplace, we are expecting a number of companies to hold their end of year work Christmas party as a way to reconnect their staff before the new year. In this alert, we explore the various ways employers can mitigate the risk associated with work Christmas parties and safeguard the business especially in the era of COVID-19.

How Can Employers Avoid the Great Resignation?

Despite considerable uncertainty over job security over the last 18 months, ironically, the last several months has seen a global trend of mass resignations.

We examine what has been termed in the United States, “the Great Resignation”, and whether those voluntary resignation trends can be expected to manifest in Australia.

We further examine what strategies Australian employers can develop and utilise to prevent mass resignations in their organisations so that Australian employers can retain their skilled workforce and can ‘get back to business’ as a matter of priority.

NSW Supreme Court Dismisses Challenges to Vaccine Mandates

Following the introduction of Health Orders by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard imposing requirements on workers in a number of industries to be COVID-19 vaccinated, a total of ten workers across various sectors challenged the validity of these orders in the Supreme Court of NSW.

The challenges were heard together and the Supreme Court of NSW published its single decision.

The High Court Has the Final Say as to when a Casual is a Really a Casual

In a significant win for employers, the High Court has handed down its decision overturning the Full Federal Court decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2020] FCAFC 84 which permitted casual employees to receive the 25% casual loading and nonetheless claim paid service entitlements only applicable to permanent staff, where certain conditions applied.

The High Court decision now squarely aligns with the newly introduced casuals provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which took effect on 27 March 2021. These legislative amendments affirmed that if agreed under terms of an employment contract, a casual employment relationship that mutually acknowledges no firm commitment to an ongoing working relationship or a regular pattern of work between employer and employee, will be sufficient to curtail any subsequent claims for service related entitlements enjoyed by permanent staff provided the parties observe the terms of the casual contract.

Lockdown – An Employer FAQ

From Sunday, 18 July 2021, most workplaces in Greater Sydney have been declared closed to the public. This lockdown has now expanded to parts of regional NSW and other capital cities.

This means that many employers have had to stand down some or all their employees under the current lockdown restrictions.

So, what is it that employers can and cannot do during this lockdown?

Looking back on the last week, we compiled a list of FAQ to assist employers.

Snap Lockdowns and What it Means for Employers and Employees

At 11 am on 7 July 2021, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the lockdown for Greater Sydney and surrounding factions will extend at least until Friday, 16 July 2021. This represents a three-week lockdown whereby affected residents must stay at home causing many businesses into a temporary cessation of operation. Not only do such conditions create hardships for employers but also for employees, many of whom are not required for work and, in some cases, are going without pay. In this client alert, we examine what options are available to employers to protect themselves and their employees during these snap lockdowns.

Employment Law Changes from 1 July 2021

The beginning of the financial year marks a number of important changes to the employment law area. These changes, relate to minimum wages, the unfair dismissal threshold, the Fair Work Information Statement and changes to the Superannuation Guarantee rate. A summary of the changes to come and what this means for your business is covered in this alert.

Performance Management How To Do It Right?

This time of year is typically when both employers and employees buckle down for mid-year performance appraisals. It can be a stressful time for some for many reasons. From an employer perspective, performance management and annual or bi-annual reviews instill dread as managers are tasked with conducting individual performance reviews. However, despite the angst and stress that accompanies performance reviews, not much else is achieved as a result of the review, other than to tick the relevant box stating they have been done. This surely cannot be the purpose of performance reviews. It certainly does not constitute appropriate performance management and the consequence of failing to have hard conversations can be costly.

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