Flourish Employment Blog

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Can Employers Force Employees to be COVID-19 Vaccinated

With Australia’s push to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, there are real questions emerging in relation to whether an employer can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. We examine whether an employer can force COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace, and the implications for employees.

The High Court Has the Final Say as to when a Casual is a Really a Casual

In a significant win for employers, the High Court has handed down its decision overturning the Full Federal Court decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2020] FCAFC 84 which permitted casual employees to receive the 25% casual loading and nonetheless claim paid service entitlements only applicable to permanent staff, where certain conditions applied.

The High Court decision now squarely aligns with the newly introduced casuals provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which took effect on 27 March 2021. These legislative amendments affirmed that if agreed under terms of an employment contract, a casual employment relationship that mutually acknowledges no firm commitment to an ongoing working relationship or a regular pattern of work between employer and employee, will be sufficient to curtail any subsequent claims for service related entitlements enjoyed by permanent staff provided the parties observe the terms of the casual contract.

Lockdown – An Employer FAQ

From Sunday, 18 July 2021, most workplaces in Greater Sydney have been declared closed to the public. This lockdown has now expanded to parts of regional NSW and other capital cities.

This means that many employers have had to stand down some or all their employees under the current lockdown restrictions.

So, what is it that employers can and cannot do during this lockdown?

Looking back on the last week, we compiled a list of FAQ to assist employers.

Employment Law Changes from 1 July 2021

The beginning of the financial year marks a number of important changes to the employment law area. These changes, relate to minimum wages, the unfair dismissal threshold, the Fair Work Information Statement and changes to the Superannuation Guarantee rate. A summary of the changes to come and what this means for your business is covered in this alert.

Performance Management How To Do It Right?

This time of year is typically when both employers and employees buckle down for mid-year performance appraisals. It can be a stressful time for some for many reasons. From an employer perspective, performance management and annual or bi-annual reviews instill dread as managers are tasked with conducting individual performance reviews. However, despite the angst and stress that accompanies performance reviews, not much else is achieved as a result of the review, other than to tick the relevant box stating they have been done. This surely cannot be the purpose of performance reviews. It certainly does not constitute appropriate performance management and the consequence of failing to have hard conversations can be costly.

Can Employers Force Employees to be COVID-19 Vaccinated?

As the Federal Government has recently announced, the COVID-19 vaccination rollout will commence in mid to late February, a full month ahead of the previously foreshadowed commencement schedule at the end of March 2021. As business and industry of all sizes has suffered during the pandemic, not to mention the complete shutdown of international air travel, many Australians, if not looking forward to the jab itself, are looking forward to a gradual return to normalcy and it is increasingly apparent that normalcy might only return once the majority of the population have been vaccinated.

COVID-19, Working from Home, Mental Health Challenges and the Office Christmas Party!

As we have covered in previous client alerts, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a raft of unique challenges for employers striving to maintain safety, efficiency and productivity, and employees who, perhaps for the first time in their working lives, are now consistently working from home. For many of these employees, feelings of social isolation have led to reports of anxiety and depression, and with the Silly Season just around the corner, this means some serious red flags for employers. In this client alert we examine some of the current difficulties, and projected difficulties that COVID-19, will have on employees, and how best employers might deal with them.

New Whistleblower Protections

The right of individuals to disclose wrongdoing has long been stymied by the conflicting right of employers keeping confidential information, confidential. This conflict has been recently highlighted by the plight of Richard Boyle who is currently facing a 161 year...