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Workplace and Employee Relations Update - February 2011

  • Employer breaches contract by failing to set performance objectives or conduct performance reviews
    The New South Wales Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) has confirmed that an employer breached its contractual obligations to an employee by failing to set performance objectives and review the employee’s performance against those objectives, which resulted in the employee losing the opportunity to receive bonus payments.
  • Executive remuneration reforms
    On 20 December 2010, the Federal Government released an exposure draft of the Corporations Amendment (Improving Accountability on Director and Executive Remuneration) Bill 2011 (Cwth) (Bill). The Bill has an expected commencement date of 1 July 2011. The release of the exposure draft was accompanied by the Government’s release of a discussion paper on the clawback of executive remuneration in circumstances where there has been a material misstatement in financial accounts. These reforms are controversial and have guaranteed significant interest for directors and listed companies.
  • FWA full bench confirms employees should have been redeployed to associated entities
    A Full Bench of Fair Work Australia (FWA) has confirmed an earlier decision that the dismissal of six mineworkers was not a “genuine redundancy” for the purposes of the “genuine redundancy” exemption to the unfair dismissal provisions of the Fair Work Act because it would have been reasonable to redeploy them within an associated entity of the employer. This was the fourth hearing in relation to these proceedings. We have previously reported on the related decisions at first instance, on appeal and the determination of redeployment issues.
  • No finding of permanent employment after expiry of fixed term contract
    Fair Work Australia has recently confirmed that successive fixed term contracts do not necessarily result in permanent ongoing employment.
  • Union refused access to meal room to hold discussions
    A majority of a full bench of Fair Work Australia (FWA) has determined that an employer’s request that a union hold discussions with employees in a training room located near the managers’ office rather than in a larger meal room was a reasonable request.
 
Who does this affect?
All Australian employers.
What do you need to do?
Review how the issues and developments covered in this publication impact on your business. Consider if your internal processes need to be revised. We can help.

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