Aurizon, previously a government owned entity, operates in the rail industry. The company had been bargaining in relation to numerous enterprise agreements. Part of the company’s bargaining platform was to be relieved of onerous restrictions on management, many of which were legacies of its public sector origins. The changes were resisted and the bargaining became intractable.

In an effort to overcome the legacy arrangements, Aurizon applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the agreements.
Continue Reading

  • An all too common feature of individual employee claims is to include salacious allegations designed to shame or embarrass management representatives.
  • In many cases, such allegations are unrelated to the issues to be determined in the case and are made without proper foundation.  Rather, their purpose is to extract a “shame or silence” premium in settlement negotiations.
  • Recent cases debunk popular “cost-free” perceptions about the Fair Work jurisdiction and reinforce that smear campaigns expose employees and their representatives to liability for legal costs of those required to defend them.
  • Careful positioning by employers can turn the tables on such campaigns by exposing baseless or irrelevant allegations for what they are – an attempt at leverage –  with costly consequences for those responsible.

If you would like more information, read on…
Continue Reading

Recent months have seen a number of prominent protests in Australian cities with visible union involvement. For example, since June, we have seen the CFMEU protesting outside the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, steelworkers protesting at the Port of Melbourne, and large union-organised protests against the federal budget in state capitals.
Continue Reading

Since 1 January 2014 employees who have been bullied at work have been able to apply to the Fair Work Commission for a range of remedies. Monetary compensation is not available as a remedy. It has been held that conduct occurring before 1 January 2014, when the laws commenced operation, can be considered in dealing with claims.
Continue Reading

“Don’t stand, don’t stand so

Don’t stand so close to me

Don’t stand, don’t stand so

Don’t stand so close to me”

The chorus of the 1980 hit Police song might be the most succinct way of summarising the first set of substantive orders made by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) under the bullying jurisdiction in operation since 1 January 2014. 
Continue Reading

Right through to the end of 2013, many unions and a number of employers applied to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for a modern enterprise award.  Where such an application is successful, a modern enterprise award would cover employees rather than one of the 122 industry or occupational modern awards that the FWC made between 2008 and 2010.
Continue Reading