The 3rd December is International Day of Disabled Persons. In honour of this, we have looked at the obligations of an employer to ensure they uphold the rights of a person with disabilities in the workplace.
It is estimated that while 80% of new start-ups exist for at least 12 months, more than half of them will fail in the subsequent 5 years. While the percentage of small businesses failing in the first 5 years is very high, it is comforting to know that most successful businessowners have one or more business failures to their names.
Events in the past few months have drawn attention to the role of social media in our workplace. The Israel Folau case has again raised important questions such as: ‘to what extend can employees be disciplined and held accountable for comments made on social media sites?’ or ‘where is the line drawn between comments made in ‘personal time’ and comments made ‘in the workplace’?’ or ‘when is something written under the disguise of ‘personal opinion’ or ‘freedom of speech’ in reality bullying and harassment, slander or defamation?’
The term ‘workplace disputes’ is often associated with conflict between an employer and a group of employees (or unions), usually about pay rises, job security or some other work-related grievance. The reality however is that 90% of ‘workplace disputes’ involve individual employees (i.e. not unions) that have a grievance or problem with a manager or, more often, a co-employee. These types of conflicts are more prevalent in Australia than union or collective disputes.
George Calombaris, celebrity chef and famous judge on MasterChef Australia, through his Company, Made Establishment, has been found to have underpaid more than 500 staff to the tune of $7.8 million. Last week, under a court-enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman, the embattled chef and his company is required to pay $200,000.00 as a ‘contrition payment’. George has blamed ‘error’ in systems and processes.