Jen's Workplace News


Welcome to your favourite workplace newsletter – a combination of things you need to know and things that will make you laugh out loud. In this issue we have a workplace trend, news snippets, cases and sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.

And of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

Cheers, Jen


Jens Lens

What trend am I hearing about out there in the workplace world?  

The pandemic supercharged a move towards remote work, making it harder for employers to monitor their staff. This has led to a trend in some industries (such as IT) called “overemployment”. Essentially, this is when employees hold down two or more remote jobs – with their bosses being none the wiser.

Tips on how to live this double life (and receive a double pay cheque) are being shared in online chat groups that “trade tips on everything from avoiding detection to reducing their taxes and finding the right jobs to enable their lifestyle.”  

Take Out Point: Employment contracts usually contain exclusive employment clauses. Expectations should be made clear at the time of recruitment. However, if this trend continues, the breakdown of trust will continue. Employees will be under greater surveillance. They will be required to spend more time in the office. This will impact employees who want to legitimately work for one employer remotely. What a mess!

See: Employees Living Double Lives



Buzzword of the Week: “Flearning”

According to the FutureLearn website, “flearning” means to learn from failure.

Why does this happen?

If you hear someone use this term in the wild, please laugh out loud, shake your head and sigh.

Job Ad of the Week: Brutal Job Ad Goes Viral

An advertisement for staff for the George Pub and Grill in Stockton, UK, went viral in 2020 after the boss warned that although he was an “a**hole”, he was “a fair one”. He said no one should come to the interview who had “chipped fingernails, scraggly hair and just been on a session red eye”

Fancy yourself as a prospective pot washer at this pub? According to the ad, “Yep it’s one of those grubby jobs, but you get good pot washers and s**** ones. I’m after a good one. Pot wash athletes only.” 

The post had more than 500 shares and 600 comments, with mixed feedback.

Take Out Point: Unrefined, but honest. Probably couldn’t get away with this in professional services, but being upfront about expectations from the beginning avoids future problems. Sound recruitment + onboarding = happy workplace. 

See: Brutally Honest Job Ad

Real Estate Boss Fires Employee After Her “Extreme Lunch Break Act”

A Sydney Real Estate Agent has shared his “Worst Employee” story online. The Agent told his audience that he fired his assistant after she was late from her lunch break and claimed that her tardiness was because her “heart stopped” whilst running during her break. The Agent was sceptical after the assistant’s “entire demeanour changed to perfectly fine” after he offered her medical assistance. The Agent has since changed his hiring processes.

Take Out Point: If the employee simply told the truth and apologised for being late, she might still have a job. 

See: Employee Fired After Extreme Lunchbreak Act

Government Paid Parental Leave To Increase to 26 weeks

The Government has passed its legislation to increase government paid parental leave by an extra two weeks to 26 weeks by 2026. The Bill was passed with the help of Senators who secured a sweetener of $10 million to help small businesses administer the parental leave scheme. More than 180,000 families are expected to access it each year.

Take Out Point: The government parental leave scheme can be challenging for employers to understand and administer. Call us if you need any help getting it right.

See: Paid Parental Leave Bill

FSU Calls Out Culture of Silence Around Impact of Menopause In The Workplace

The Financial Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has submitted a detailed report on the impact of menopause on both individual workers and employers to a current Senate Inquiry into issues related to menopause and perimenopause.

The FSU submission highlights the culture of silence noting that an FSU survey found that:

  • over 75% of workers impacted by their menopausal status, chose not to disclose their status to their manager
  • more than 35% believed they were more likely to retire early because of their experience
  • over 50% said that their experience of menopause meant that they were less likely to apply for a promotion

The finance industry has one of the greatest gender pay gaps in Australia which can be partly attributed to the lack of women in senior roles. This corresponds with the fact that “Menopause often hits workers at a point in their careers when they are in the pipeline for senior roles.”

Take Out Point: This survey suggests a link between not applying for promotions and a health issue. Practical solutions for addressing this health issue in the workplace may help to address the gender pay gap. 

See: FSU Submission and Don’t Sweat It



News Presenter Denied $6m Claim in Employment Dispute with Nine Network

Warren Tredrea, a Former footballer and Nine News Adelaide sports presenter has lost his case against Channel 9 in which he claimed the network unfairly terminated his contract because he refused the Covid vaccination. Tredrea sought almost $6 million – his salary for 2022 and the loss of opportunity to renew his contract for up to 30 years.

The Federal Court dismissed the claim, finding that Tredrea was not terminated solely on the grounds of a breach of Covid Policy. It transpired that the Network had concerns over Tredrea’s “stumble rate” and the fact that he had aired inaccurate comments about the vaccine on radio.

Take Out Point: There were almost 6 million reasons to get Tredrea’s termination right. Nine had sufficient grounds and followed the correct process. It could have otherwise been very costly for them. 

See: News Presenter Loses Unfair Dismissal Case or Tredders Investments Pty Ltd as trustee for Warren Tredrea Trust v Channel 9 South Australia (No 3) [2024] FCA 233

Swearing Manager Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim  

An aggressive and “imposing“ manager claims he was seeking to improve work standards after he was fired for serious misconduct. Numerous complaints had been made about the manager including yelling, banging his fist on his desk, saying “f*ck” multiple times and showing disrespect to his subordinates. 

The manager’s insensitivity hit a new level when he told a distressed female colleague who was struggling with unsuccessful IVF treatments to “just get over it, there’s nothing you can do”. One colleague accused the manager of turning the workplace into a “toxic hell”.

The Federal Court did not accept the manager’s argument that his routine swearing did not justify summary dismissal. The Court pointed to the aggression and disrespect displayed by the manager that also justified the dismissal. It also took into account the position of power the manager held which limited the ability of employees to call out his behaviour.

Take Out Point: Bully bosses beware. The Court took the view that higher standards of behaviour are imposed on employees who have positions of power. 

See: Dorsch v HEAD Oceania Pty Ltd [2024] FCA 162 (28 February 2024)


Do you know how to manage disputes between colleagues?

The ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop will empower your managers and team with essential skills and techniques to tackle challenging conversations with confidence.

Don’t let unresolved workplace issues hold your business back. Empower your team with the skills to have difficult conversations. Increase productivity. Decrease recruitment costs. Boost profits! Check out the ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop or organise a coaching session.

Dear Jen,

I currently hold down 2 full time jobs remotely.

It’s pretty tricky juggling Zooms and phone calls, but getting double the salary for working 9-5 is awesome.

Unfortunately one of my employers now wants me to work in the office 3 days a week. That will make it impossible to do my other job.

Can I refuse to go into the office?

Tommy Two-Jobs 

Dear Tommy Two-Jobs

The jig is up!

The question isn’t whether you can refuse to go into the office, but rather, why you thought it was OK to deceive your employers.

You are contractually obliged to devote the whole of your time and attention during ordinary business hours to the discharge of your duties – to each of them!

Flexible work is a privilege. Commit to one job and do it honourably.



Previous newsletters are available at our website. To catch up on earlier legal updates or viewing recommendations, head there now!

Jen's After Work

What I will watch when I have a spare 3 hours (On Netflix)

Academy (and every other) Best Picture Award winner “Oppenheimer” can now be watched in the comfort of your home. No need to time loo breaks around the plot – just press pause.

What I Cannot Recommend Highly Enough (On AppleTV+)

“Masters of the Air” is a 9-episode series that tells the story of the US 100th Bomb Group that flew dangerous missions over Germany during WWII. Based on real heroes and battles. Cannot recommend highly enough. The fact that it stars Austin Butler (Elvis) is a bonus.

What I’m Watching (On AppleTV+)

Continuing with the history theme, I am also watching “Manhunt” – a 7-episode thriller based on the hunt for the (spoiler alert) killer of President Abraham Lincoln, (further spoiler alert) John Wilkes Booth.

What I Inhaled (On Foxtel/Binge)

“Apples Never Fall” is a 7-episode mystery based on Liane Moriaty’s novel. Set in West Palm Beach with a “tennis is life/dysfunctional family” theme, matriarch and retired tennis academy owner (Annette Bening) disappears suddenly. Her four children are baffled. Is their father (Sam Neill) involved?

What I’m Watching (On Netflix)

Ever wondered what it would be like to inherit the family estate and find that it’s home to an enormous weed empire run by people who have no plans to leave? Guy Ritchie sheds light on this pesky dilemma in his latest series “The Gentlemen”.


Jen's Last Word

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