We are back with a workplace trend, news snippets, a case about Public Holiday rostering and another about an employee deleted from a WhatsApp group, and sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.
We’ve included a link to a General Protections Fact Sheet…and of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing pleasure.
I hope this newsletter brings you some wisdom and joy!
What trend am I seeing out there in the workplace world?
A sense of entitlement amongst some (not all) employees.
In industries where employees can name their price, employers are being played off against one another. But…this is not the case in all industries, and it will not continue indefinitely.
I am sensing that the heat is leaving the market.
How is the current labour market affecting you?
If I Ruled The World I Would Ban…
All jobs that require someone to make an unsolicited phone call or send an email to me about my electricity or gas or website (which are all just fine, thank you very much).
Buzzword of the Week
“Loud leaving” is when a manager makes it clear that they are heading home, going to the gym or heading off to collect the kids – that is, having a life. It’s the modern day equivalent of taking the jacket off the back of the chair.
New Gen Z & Millennial Trend – Bare Minimum Monday
Marisa Jo Mayes has created a trend known as “Bare Minimum Monday”. On Sunday she decides “what are the bare minimum work tasks that I have to accomplish tomorrow and then I only hold myself accountable to finishing those bare minimum tasks and then I get to decide how to spend the rest of my Monday.”
See: Bare Minimum Monday
Pay Disparity Leaves Radio Duo Kate and Hughesy Estranged
Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes did a radio show – “The Hughesy and Kate” drivetime show – together for 18 years. They never discussed their pay. Langbroek says that learning that she earned 40% less than Dave ultimately led to the end of their working relationship. Hughesy wasn’t aware of the gap and offered to accept less to ensure she was paid the same. But things were never the same. Expect more of the same as a result of the new pay secrecy laws.
Are your workplace contracts up to date with the pay secrecy change and other changes?
New Proposed Legislation Protecting Worker Entitlements
On 29 March 2023, the Federal Government introduced the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023 (the Bill) to the Fair Work Act 2009 and related legislation to (amongst other things):
- provide stronger access to unpaid parental leave and complement recent changes to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (PPL Act);
- insert an entitlement to superannuation in the National Employment Standards (NES);
- expand the circumstances in which employees can authorise employers to make valid deductions from payments due to employees, where the deductions are principally for the employee’s benefit.
CASES YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
Why Your Work Rosters Might Be Illegal
85 mine workers were rostered on to work at a mine in Central Queensland on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Their employer did not offer any additional remuneration and when rostering the employees, the employer communicated that the staff could make a request to have a public holiday off under special circumstances.
The Full Court of the Federal Court considered whether the rostering of staff on public holidays was lawful.
The Court found that employees are entitled to be absent from work on a public holiday. If employers require their staff to work on a public holiday, they must put a request to the employees first. Employers can only then require an employee to work public holidays if they agree to the request or the employee refuses to work and their refusal is unreasonable.
The Court offered practical solutions for employers who need to roster staff on public holidays, suggesting:
“All that is required is that an employer ensures that employees understand either that the roster is in draft requesting those employees who have been allocated to the holiday work that they indicate whether they accept or refuse that allocation, or where a request is made before the roster is finalized”.
The Court observed that contracts could also address the issue noting:
“Similarly, a contract may contain a provision foreshadowing that the employees may be asked to work on public holidays and may be required where the request is reasonable and a refusal unreasonable”.
Take Out Point: This case has had an immediate effect on businesses with employees required to work on Public Holidays.
Does your workplace roster employees on public holidays? Contact us if you need help ensuring that your workplace is meeting its obligations.
Kicking Kebab Shop Employee Out Of WhatsApp Group Is A “Dismissal”
A school student worked casually in a kebab shop. At times she had time off due to school commitments.
The employee contended in a general protections claim in the Fair Work Commission that her employer terminated her employment by removing her from the WhatsApp group. The employer denied that it dismissed the employee, saying that removal from the WhatsApp group did not amount to a termination and that the employee was welcome to return to work.
The FWC found that the employer’s action in removing the employee from the WhatsApp group was the principal contributing factor which brought the employment to an end.
Accordingly, the employee was entitled to bring her claim and the matter was referred for Conciliation.
Take Out Point: As this case demonstrates, conduct that constitutes a “dismissal” under the Fair Work Act can take many forms.
What Are General Protections Claims?
Whilst most people know about unfair dismissal claims, many are not familiar with general protections claims.
I would have prepared you a Fact Sheet but the one on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website has all you need to know.
If reading about general protections claims raised any questions for you, please call 0411 275 920 or reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you are looking to embrace having those difficult conversations you have been avoiding, get yourself the most practical online course in town. Run, don’t walk to my website for my highly informative and entertaining online course – “Difficult Conversations In The Workplace: A Lawyer’s Guide to Not Needing a Lawyer”. Spend an hour with your favourite unlawyerly lawyer for just $149 plus GST, or organise a workshop or coaching.
I am an Oscar winning actress and wellness entrepreneur.
I was recently accused of being a bad skier, but fortunately the jury disagreed.
I am concerned that the publicity surrounding the case may affect my employment prospects?
What do you think?
You consciously uncoupled from acting a few years ago, so your only job is in your business. (You know, the one you are the boss of).
I reckon you’ll be finer than a steamed…
What I Watched (on Disney+)
“Finding Michael” is a documentary about Michael Matthews (brother of Pippa Middleton’s husband James and “Made In Chelsea’s” Spencer). In 1999, Michael disappeared 3 hours after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Now Spencer and a recovery team try to bring Michael home. Beautiful story.
What I Watched (on Netflix)
In “Wellmania” Celeste Barber stars as an Australian US based food writer, forced to embrace a wellness journey after she is medically unable to get a green card because of her indulgent lifestyle. Kinda silly, but easy watching. Some LOL moments.
What I Watched (on Netflix)
“The Night Agent” is a spy thriller about an FBI Agent who answers a phone call and … It’s top of the Netflix charts for a reason.
What I Watched (on Netflix)
My efforts to earn an online medical degree continue with “Emergency: NYC”. Medical professionals, EMTs and patients – real life heroes – share their stories in this 8 part doco series. Fans of “Lenox Hill” will enjoy being reacquainted with the amazing folk from that hospital. I could watch this every day.
What I am Re-Watching (on Netflix)
Sometimes, at the end of a long day, we just need to laugh. “Derry Girls” is a brilliantly written and cast show that is just as good the second time around. I still need the sub-titles, but my Irish accent comprehension is steadily improving.