Long awaited Fair Work Act Review released

The Hon Bill Shorten MP released the much anticipated review into the Fair Work Act 2009.  The Minister has indicated that the government's response will be provided 'in due course' following consultation with State and Territory counterparts and other stakeholders.  It is possible that amending legislation will be introduced in the Spring sittings.

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Workplace Relations: Endeavour Coal v APESMA

The Federal Court has recently handed down its decision in the long running dispute between Endeavour Coal Pty Ltd (a BHP subsidiary) and the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia. The application concerns APESMA’s application to Fair Work Australia for good faith bargaining orders in relation to its Appin Mine in New South Wales. The Federal Court’s decision is the second appeal in this dispute.

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Workplace Relations: CFMEU v Pilbara Iron Company

The Federal Court of Australia recently handed down a significant decision in relatio to the protections afforded to employees against adverse action by employers. The case is significant because it demonstrates the heavy burden that employers can have managing difficult and cantankerous employees. The principal difficulty is that the burden of demonstrating compliance with the general protections provisions lies on the employer.

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Employment Contract: Keays v JP Morgan

This decision concerned the fate of the employment of an investment banker and one of the world's largest investment banks. It is a decision which illustrates the dangers, particularly for employers, of loose job descriptions and the limited scope of so-called 'entire agreement clauses'. The decision also confirms the difficulty of employers limiting the payment of entitlements by reference to a Deed of Release or attempting to unilaterally alter job descriptions.

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Workplace Relations: Mifsud v Veolia Transport Sydney Pty Ltd [2012] FMCA 167

Mr Misfud was denied redundancy payments owed to him under a collective agreement by his employer, Veolia Transport Sydney, and the issue arose whether they were thus liable to pay a penalty. Mr Misfud also petitioned for indemnity costs, claiming that Veolia's failure to respond to a settlement offer unreasonably furthered his legal costs.

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