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?’
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.
To get to the root of the problem, you have to ask yourself the question: “Why do my employees want to join a union?” Reasons for joining a union usual falls within these 5 categories (1) higher wages or benefits, (2) job security, (3) lack of recognition, (4) lack of participation or (5) social reasons including ‘peer pressure’.
The Morrison Government has announced that it intends to amend the Fair Work Act to protect employers from casual employees ‘double-dipping’: where long-term casual employees are deemed to be ‘permanent employees’ for purposes of leave entitlements.
Since the 1st October 2018, casual employees now have a greater chance in becoming permanent employees. The Fair Work Commission has amended 98 Modern Awards to allow a mechanism by which casual employees of 12 months can request a transfer to be a permanent employee.