ewise logo
 
 
 
eWISE February 2019                                     
  1300 580 685 facebook twitter linked in
line
     
 
splash top

eWise - February 2019

Whats New?

The Federal Government has introduced legislation extending to all 'regular casual' workers a right to request conversion to part or full time employment. 

IR Minister Kelly O'Dwyer has stated that the Fair Work Amendment will 'fill a gap' left by the Fair Work Commission's decision to insert a right to request conversion into 85 additional awards. 

Inserting the right into the standards ensures all employees who are not covered by an award or agreement are protected, and can request conversion without fear. 

- - -

review into Amnesty International has uncovered a 'toxic workplace environment', with a dangerous 'us and them'  mentality between management and staff - which threatens Amnesty's status as a humanitarian leader. 

The review was commissioned following two staff suicides in 2018. 

The most recent review released 6 February 2019, uncovered widespread claims of bullying, harassment, public humiliation, discrimination, and abuses of power from management, with a fear of being 'blacklisted' should someone speak up. 

- - - 

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has used its new powers (reverse onus proof laws) regarding court action. 

The new reverse onus of proof law aims to protect vulnerable workers, and requires employers to disprove underpayment allegations, where they have failed to keep adequate time and pay records. 

The FWO has taken action in the Federal Circuit Court against a sushi chain operator 'A&K Property Services Pty Ltd'. Fair Work Inspectors audited the outlets as part of a proactive auditing activity, and found that between October - December 2017, A&K Property Services had breached workplace laws by failing to keep proper time and wage records, and failed to issue pay slips to employees.  

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah, explained that some employers in the past have avoided litigation because they had breached their record-keeping obligations and the FWO could not present sufficient evidence to prove underpayments. 

Ms Hannah stated that 'employers should be on notice, that this loophole is now closed and the FWO will make full use of the new laws... Business who don't meet record-keeping or payslip obligations and are unable to provide reasonable excuse, will need to disprove allegations of underpayment in Court'. 

A&K Property Services faces penalties of up to $63,000 per contravention. The matter is listed to be heard in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on 25 March 2019.

- - -

Hospital nurses in NSW have been kicked, punched, verbally abused and had bodily fluids thrown at them in the workplace according a new report

The state government has been reviewing hospital security standards, and it has been revealed that four in five nurses have reported attacks in the past six months. 

35 workers reported being sexually attacked, 60% had been grabbed or hit, 53% were kicked, pushed or spat at, and 52% were punched. Adding to that, almost 400 nurses reporting having blood, urine, faeces or semen thrown at them by patients. 

The full findings have been submitted and the final review into hospital security is due to be released late February 2019. 

- - -

Updates

The Human Rights Commission has published the first batch of submissions received regarding the National Workplace Sexual Harassment Inquiry. The Commission will continue to accept submissions until 28 February 2019

So far, the Commission has received submissions from individuals, and organisations across a broad range of industries, including law, hospitality, police, public service, and film and television. Key themes include: 

- experiences of behaviours including offensive behaviour, unwanted sexual attraction or physical contact

- multiple different experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace over the course of a person's life

- mental health and career impacts as a result of workplace sexual harassment

- perpetrators of sexual harassment exploiting their position of power and/or influence over victims. 

- - -

The Federal Government has now passed the reforms regarding Whistleblower protections, making it mandatory for organisations to have a whistleblower policy. 

The reforms, currently awaiting royal assent, will commence on 1 July 2019, and aim to encourage disclosure of crime and misconduct. 

Our FREE downloadable whitepaper includes recommendations and tips to ensure your organisation is prepared for the changes

- - - 

The Royal Commission into Aged Care has held it first session, which spanned eight days. 

The commission was provided with evidence that in 2017-2018 there were 3773 reportable assaults in nursing homes, excluding when residents attack each other.

Hearings will be conducted in all capital cities and a number a regional locations. Hearings will resume in Adelaide on March 18 2019. The remainder of locations will be announced progressively during the year. 

- - -

If you are interested in reading our blogs regularly they are released weekly on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media pages - simply search for WISE Workplace on your chosen social media platform.  


line
 
 

When to Suspend an Employee During an Investigation

By Vince Scopelliti

One of the most difficult aspects of a workplace investigation is the moment when the investigator or employer realises the immediate suspension of an employee is required. 

We examine warning signs that a suspension might be necessary, as well as the best way to handle this complex eventuality.  

Read the full article

 
line
     

Briginshaw Applied: Weighing Up The Evidence

By Vince Scopelliti

For those involved in workplace investigations, one court case seems to be of central importance - Briginshaw v Briginshaw. Interestingly, this 1938 case is actually about alleged adultery in the context of divorce! So the question immediately arises - why do the concepts in Briginshaw seem to hold sway in the context of workplace investigations?

Read the full article

 
   
 
 
line

Why Counter Allegations must Be Investigated 

By Vince Scopelliti

In the usual course of workplace investigations, it is often one person's word against another's. This is particularly the case when a serious allegation such as sexual misconduct has been made, and there are are unlikely to be any witnesses to the event. 

Read the full article

 
line 

Learning HR Lessons from Real World Cases

By Vince Scopelliti

In recent years, there have been a number of cases heard in the Fair Work Commission and the courts which have resulted in important practical outcomes and learnings for employers, particularly in the area of workplace bullying. 

Read the full article

 
 
     
line
line
 

What's On

 
line
 

Conducting Workplace Investigations - Advanced (3-days)

Location: Sydney
Date: 18 - 20 March 2019 


Location: Perth
Date: 3 - 5 April 2019 


Location: Hobart
Date: 21-23 May 2019 


Location: Canberra
Date: 12- 14 June 2019 


Location: Brisbane
Date: 10 - 12 September 2019 


Location: Sydney
Date: 16 - 18 October 2019 


Location: Melbourne
Date: 12 - 14 November 2019 



Investigating Workplace Misconduct (1-day)

Location: Adelaide
Date: 13 March 2019 


Location: Brisbane
Date: 29 April 2019 


Location: Sydney
Date: 14 May 2019


Location: Melbourne
Date: 17 June 2019 


Location: Perth
Date: 29 July 2019 


Location: Hobart
Date: 13 August 2019 


Location: Darwin
Date: 16 September 2019 


Location: Canberra
Date: 19 November 2019 


For more information on Investigating Workplace Misconduct

Investigating Abuse In Care (4-day)

Location: Melbourne
Date: 23-26 July 2019 


Location: Sydney
Date: 6-9 August 2019 


For more information on Investigating Abuse In Care

 

 

 

Visit wiseworkplace.com.au

 
line
 
   
 
 
KNOW ANYONE ELSE WHO’D BE INTERESTED IN THIS EMAIL?
{tag_tellafriend}
 
  WISE Workplace - TRAINING INVESTIGATIONS MEDIATION GOVERNANCE  
     
  TRAINING   INVESTIGATIONS   MEDIATION   GOVERNANCE  
                                                                        wiseworkplace.com.au  
  SYDNEY   CANBERRA   MELBOURNE   BRISBANE   PERTH   HOBART  
     
  {tag_unsubscribe}