Smile for the Camera: Surveillance in the Workplace

Is big brother watching us at work, and if not, should it be? The issue of surveillance at work and how far employers are able to go in surveilling their employees is a vexed question. Not only does it raise significant legal issues but also may have significant consequences for the culture of the workplace. In additional to the increased use of artificial intelligence and automation, surveillance is also an extremely important development that is changing the nature of the workplace.

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.

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.

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.

Can Employers Force Employees to be COVID-19 Vaccinated?

As the Federal Government has recently announced, the COVID-19 vaccination rollout will commence in mid to late February, a full month ahead of the previously foreshadowed commencement schedule at the end of March 2021. As business and industry of all sizes has suffered during the pandemic, not to mention the complete shutdown of international air travel, many Australians, if not looking forward to the jab itself, are looking forward to a gradual return to normalcy and it is increasingly apparent that normalcy might only return once the majority of the population have been vaccinated.

COVID-19, Working from Home, Mental Health Challenges and the Office Christmas Party!

As we have covered in previous client alerts, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a raft of unique challenges for employers striving to maintain safety, efficiency and productivity, and employees who, perhaps for the first time in their working lives, are now consistently working from home. For many of these employees, feelings of social isolation have led to reports of anxiety and depression, and with the Silly Season just around the corner, this means some serious red flags for employers. In this client alert we examine some of the current difficulties, and projected difficulties that COVID-19, will have on employees, and how best employers might deal with them.

Redundancy in a COVID World

Australia has officially entered its first recession for 29 years after the economy went backwards in the March 2020 quarter. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 has continued to have a significant detrimental effect on many businesses across a variety of industries.

In addition, the upcoming changes to JobKeeper later this month will also result in some employers no longer receiving JobKeeper payments to subsidise wages. As a result, many businesses are considering their options to safeguard their business and reduce expenditure over the coming months.

Jobkeeper 2.0 – What does it mean for your business?

The Australian Government’s introduction of JobKeeper on 9 April 2020, has helped Australian businesses, not-for-profits and workers get through one of the most difficult times in our history in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. With Stage 4 restrictions in place in Victoria and the threat of similar lockdown in other states, the untimely termination of JobKeeper support on the 27 September 2020 brought great panic to businesses and employees.

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