With office parties set to kick off in the coming weeks, a timely reminder from Emily Dempster in this article on ten things employers should do to avoid Christmas party disaster; including “specify clear start and end times of the function and ensure alcohol is not served after the end time”.
The Federal Court has awarded an employee over $1.2 million in damages for his employer’s breaches of the Fair Work Act. This award came after the employee successfully sued the employer for over $600,000 in common law damages for a workplace injury.
“The FWC has held that an employer who refused to answer the calls, emails and text messages of an injured employee when she sought to return to work repudiated her employment contract and unfairly dismissed the employee,” writes Emily Harvey of the Maree Hayes v Austrend International Pty Ltd T/A Austrend Group (U2016/6469) case.
Quick advice on knowing when to report incidents, illnesses and injuries to WorkSafe NZ, “the penalties for not reporting are onerous. It is better to call WorkSafe, and be told that they’re not interested, than get prosecuted for failing to report”, writes the team at Hesketh Henry.
Learn from recent cases where “an employer can reasonably rely on the employer’s obligations under work health and safety laws to direct an employee, on reasonable grounds, to attend an IME” from Cooper Grace Ward’s Annie Smeaton and Sandra Barry.
“Not only is it a legal requirement to report all incidents internally and, when applicable, report them externally, it demonstrates to workers that the organisation takes safety issues seriously,” writes the team at Dibbs Barker’s People & Workplace services group.
This quick read from the Lander & Rogers team highlights issues with managing absenteeism in Australia’s workplaces. Importantly, it also teaches us some top tips on how to conduct a return to work meeting with employees.
Companies found guilty of breaching the primary duty offences in the OHS Act may have higher sentences imposed, given this more serious offence will now be outside of the available sentencing range for primary duty offences; read more with Sam Jackson of Sparke Helmore.
In rejecting a constitutional challenge to South Australia’s new Return to Work legislation a tribunal has upheld its statutory power to order employers to reinstate injured workers who have been improperly dismissed, reminding employers that return to work obligations may result in some cost and inconvenience; writes Shae McCarthy of Clayton Utz.
Read more from the QLD team at Sparke Helmore Lawyers on how “following the repeal of the Newman amendments in September 2015, all workers who sustain injury at work on or after 31 January 2015 have had their full common law rights restored, regardless of the assessment of impairment.”