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Let’s all get rich together’ say new Australian share scheme rules

Groups of formerly disengaged and uncommitted employees will soon be queueing at HR’s door to ask for copies of your company’s new employee share scheme (ESS), or so runs the unwritten subtext of the Australian Federal Government’s new proposals in respect of employee participation in business ownership. After much deliberation the Australian Federal Government has … Continue Reading

Can you sack an employee for having ‘friends with benefits’?

You won’t be surprised to know that the word “poly” comes from the Greek word “polýs” which means ‘many’.  But did you know that, earlier this year, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Bunning v Centacare [2015] FCCA 280 was faced with the question of whether an employee of a religious organisation could be … Continue Reading

Finally the plight of pregnant workers across Australia is acknowledged – morning sickness is a recognised disability!

In the aftermath of International Womens’ Day, the history books were once again re-written when the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal classified a pregnant worker’s severe morning sickness as a disability under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic). Ms Bevilacqua was a full time Sales Consultant at a Telstra store up until October 2013 when … Continue Reading

Does sacking an employee for calling the boss a “complete d*ck” constitute unfair dismissal in Australia?

In a sequel to our blog last year concerning Australian employers using expletives towards employees (click here), the Fair Work Commission was recently faced with the converse scenario, this time being asked to rule on whether an employer was entitled to summarily dismiss an employee who had inadvertently sent him a text message in which … Continue Reading

A $3 million reason for Australian employers to review their contracts and policies – now!

There’s never been a more opportune time for employers in Australia to review their contracts and policies than now, with the NSW Supreme Court this week awarding more than $3 million to a chief executive after finding his employer’s redundancy policy was incorporated into his employment contract. Mr James was the CEO at ABN AMRO … Continue Reading

Australian employee pays high price for revenge porn in the workplace

Taking a stand against jilted ex-lovers, Western Australia has joined the UK and USA to fight the war on ‘revenge porn’. Revenge porn occurs when the (either actually or imminently) ex-partner posts nude or intimate pictures or videos online without consent. In the absence of appropriate laws, perpetrators have often escaped liability. In response, countries … Continue Reading

US and China Extend Visa Validity for Short-Term Travelers; Changes to ESTA

The United States and the People’s Republic of China agreed to increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to citizens of each country. Effective November 12, 2014, Chinese nationals can now obtain B-1 (business) and B-2 (tourist) nonimmigrant multiple-entry visas for up to 10 years. Previously, these … Continue Reading

Work-related illness rising in Japan – harassment and overwork to blame?

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan recently released figures showing a 12% year on year rise in reported work-related illness claims.  In a third of these cases, employees were awarded compensation after claims of ‘power harassment’ or “dramatic and uncompensated rise in workload” were upheld. Of course, instances of workplace harassment are … Continue Reading
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