General Employment: Legal update on the implied duty of good faith and confidence

A recent decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court has examined the application of the  implied term of good faith and trust and confidence in employment contracts. Justice Stephen Hall reviewed the Australian and English authorities and confirmed that the cases establish that an employment contract will generally include an implied term of good faith and confidence. Such a term applies to conduct during the currency of the employment, but does not apply to dismissal or the manner of dismissal.

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Bullying: Harley v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd [2010] FWA 62

A recent decision of Fair Work Australia has highlighted the need for employers to properly investigate employee complaints.

In Harley v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd [2010] FWA 62 an employee was awarded the maximum compensation payable under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (ie six months salary) after being forced to resign following “a course of harassment” from one of his managers.

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Social Media: Fitzgerald v Dianna Smith t/a Escape Hair Design [2010] FWA 735

In certain circumstances out of hours use of social media by an employee may justify termination of their employment.

The case of Rose v Telstra established the principle that an employee may be validly dismissed for out of hours conduct if the conduct if likely to cause serious damage to the relationship between the employer and the employee, damage to the employer’s interests, or is otherwise incompatible with the employee’s duties.

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Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

In May 2010 that Federal Government released its draft of the Paid Parental Leave Bill.

Under the draft Bill, from 1 January 2011, an eligible parent will be able to apply for up to 18 weeks paid parental leave at the national minimum wage, currently $543.78 per week.

Employers will be required to pay parental leave to employees who have been employed for at least 12 months prior to the expected date of birth or placement of adoption.

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