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Mean manager mistreats minion – employer left to pay the cost

A recent decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal (QCA) has set the record straight in finding that an aged care provider was vicariously liable for the belittling and aggressive conduct of its manager, and awarding the worker $435,583.98 in damages for a psychiatric injury. Ms Eaton started work as an administrative assistant for an … Continue Reading

“Ladies’ Night” promotions in Hong Kong – good business or unlawful discrimination?

The hospitality industry is no stranger to the rules prohibiting discrimination in accommodations. The average restaurant or hotel operator is fully aware that he cannot deny goods, facilities or services to a customer on the basis of gender. What appears to be less well known is that, at least in Hong Kong, the same business … Continue Reading

Tokyo District Court rules that “US-style” dismissal is invalid

Article 16 of the Japanese Labour Contracts Act provides that “If a termination lacks objectively reasonable grounds and is not considered to be appropriate in general social terms, it is treated as an abuse of rights and is invalid”.  Obviously the terms “objectively reasonable grounds” and “appropriate in general social terms” are ambiguous but here … Continue Reading

Webinar: Employment Law Worldview Webinar Series – Australia, China and Japan

Squire Patton Boggs presents a series of webinars focusing on the key labour and employment issues in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the United States. Given in English by our local labour and employment law experts, each 60-minute webinar comprises a 50-minute presentation covering key “hot topics” in the featured jurisdiction, … Continue Reading

SPB launches ground-breaking reference tool for international HR and Legal teams

Let’s face it – some law firm differentiators just don’t work.    We’ve tried a number in our time, from risibly pretentious podcasts to printing all our documents landscape to ensure that they stood out (or rather, didn’t fit) in client or Tribunal files, to an advertising campaign based on whippets and racing pigeons which still … Continue Reading

Just a fling – Australian employer finds breaking up with a Casual is hard to do

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of casual employees in the Australian workforce is on the rise, with the highest proportion employed in the retail and building industries. However, how many of these are true casuals and what are the consequences of an employer not getting the relationship right? The recent decision … Continue Reading

Three ways to dismiss employees in Japan

If we were to list the “frequently asked questions” by multinationals doing business in Japan, the first question on the list might be “how do we dismiss employees?” The short answer is “with extreme care,” as Japan is famous for its “lifetime employment” system, and the law here is very protective of employees. Many multinationals have tried to fire … Continue Reading

Gardening Leave – Avoiding the Thorns!

In the absence of any right at common law or under Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the general rule is that gardening leave must be conferred by an express power in an employment contract.  In a remarkable decision by the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia it was held that the employer’s power to direct … Continue Reading

Webinar: Employment Law Worldview Webinar Series – Hong Kong

Squire Patton Boggs presents a series of webinars focussing on the key labour and employment issues in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the United States. Presented in English by our local labour and employment law experts, each 60-minute webinar comprises a 50-minute presentation covering key “hot topics” in the featured jurisdiction, … Continue Reading

How a legal compliance audit reduced OSH penalties

A recent decision in the South Australian Industrial Relations Court has shown that an occupational safety and health (OSH) legislative compliance audit can significantly reduce the penalty imposed following an OSH incident by demonstrating a commitment to improve safety. In Boland v Trading Metals Pty Ltd [2015] SAIRC 30, the respondent was charged with breaching … Continue Reading

UK industry’s response to Government proposals to limit skilled immigration

The Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to review Tier 2 of the UK’s immigration system “with a view to significantly reducing net migration to the UK”.   On 25 September we submitted our response to the MAC’s call for evidence.  It took into account opinions canvassed from a number of international clients and contacts … Continue Reading

Did You Know?

Last month the Australian Fair Work Commission made its first formal bullying finding since the introduction of new anti-bullying laws at the start of 2014. The Commission found that two employees of a small real estate business subjected to repeated unreasonable behaviour by a property manager had been bullied at work within the meaning of … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor or Employee? Good Odds for Australian Wagering Group on Appeal

With the AFL Finals fast approaching, the office tips are bound to get a little heated! However, you may want to think twice before taking too big a punt on whether a worker in Australia is an employee or an independent contractor. In the recent appeal case of Tattsbet Limited v Morrow, the Full Court … Continue Reading

Rich investors set to boost innovation capital in Australia

The Government recently announced a new three-part complying investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme. These visas offer pathways to permanent residency, subject to significant, complying investments being made in Australia by the applicants. From 1 July 2015, new SIV applicants will be required to invest at least … Continue Reading

Icing on the cake for Facebook privacy laws & the impact on your workplace

While Facebook continues to produce evidentiary gold for employers seeking to prove employee wrongdoing, a recent New Zealand case demonstrates that privacy settings can’t be ignored. In a recent ruling, the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal ordered an employer pay an ex-employee a hefty $168,000 after it wrongfully accessed her Facebook page and maliciously … Continue Reading

Sponsors Beware! Big Brother is Watching

In April 2015, Mr and Mrs Choong’s wallets took a whopping $175,400 hit after the Federal Court ordered their company to pay the largest-ever civil penalty for breaching sponsorship obligations under the subclass 457 visa program.  Just five weeks later, the Choongs were ordered to pay a further $125,956 to reimburse the Filipino workers their … Continue Reading

Office relationships – when it’s not okay

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Sydney, Australia has highlighted the risks of inter-office relationships, particularly between managers and their subordinates. The FWC upheld Westpac’s summary termination of a long-serving branch manager who had been romantically involved with one of his direct reports.  The bank became aware of the relationship after … Continue Reading

Private lives v saving lives: privacy intrusions of little consequence when drug testing

There has been a long running battle in Australia about whether an employer, when testing for drug use, can ask employees to provide a urine sample. Many unions have resisted the introduction of urine testing, arguing that saliva testing is sufficient and, as such, the process of sampling urine is an unjustified invasion of privacy. … Continue Reading

Australian federal government implement changes to the Temporary Skilled (subclass 457) visa

Following publication of the independent review into the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visa program, the federal government announced on 18 March 2015 its intention to implement a number of the proposed changes to ‘increase flexibility and reduce restrictions on 457 programme users while maintaining integrity in the programme’. Despite growing suspicions that this would be … Continue Reading

Australian federal government implements changes to the 457 visa

Following the publication of the independent review into the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visa program, the federal government announced on 18 March 2015 its intention to implement a number of the proposed changes to ‘increase flexibility and reduce restrictions on 457 programme users while maintaining integrity in the programme’. Despite growing suspicions that this would … Continue Reading
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