Jen's Workplace News


In this newsletter, I discuss a trend I’ve noticed in the workplace world.

I share news about the extension of the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and a new way of classifying employees that is likely to be adopted globally by many companies.

I also share details of a summary dismissal case that is instructive for employers.

This week’s “Dear Jen” makes for interesting reading.

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

I hope this newsletter brings you some wisdom and joy!

Cheers, Jen


Jens Lens

What am I seeing out there in the workplace world?

People in their 50s and 60s are reluctant to leave awful jobs because they believe they are “too old” and no-one else will hire them.

Fear not quinquagenarians and sexagenarians.

Your experience is valued.


Jens Articles and Cases


Mr Nice Guy Retires

Everyone’s favourite tennis player, Roger Federer announced his retirement. “I am 41 years old, I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years…and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.” Classy to the end. Thank you for your service Roger.

See: Roger Federer Announces Retirement

New Global Working Model at Citi 

As part of a new working model now launched in Singapore, Citi employees worldwide are being classified as either “hybrid” (permitted to work remotely up to two days per week if they wish), “resident” (must work onsite) and “remote” (can be performed offsite given the nature of the work). In Singapore, most staff have been designated as hybrid. 

See: Singapore’s New Working Model

10 Minute Job Interviews Kick Start Hiring Process 

Dan Murphy’s wanted to hire 2,200 people to fill positions in 258 stores. They sought to avoid the hiring process bureaucracy by guaranteeing an on-the-spot 10-minute job interview with anyone over 18 who came in. Dan Murphy’s now have 1,000 applicants moving through the final stages of the hiring process. Not quite what they hoped for but it’s a start.

See: Dan Murphy’s Hiring Blitz

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment Extended 

National Cabinet has decided to extend the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment (PLDP) at current rates beyond 30 September 2022. It will remain available for as long as mandatory isolation periods are applied by all States and Territories.

The PLDP is a lump sum payment to help workers who cannot work because they have to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID, or care for someone who has to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID.

A number of leaders have called for the end of isolation mandates and overseas they have been removed entirely. Watch this space to see if Australia follows suit.

See: and


Not Wearing Mask Did Not Justify Summary Dismissal 

A Property Manager, who had been employed for 4.5 years, conducted inspections of rental properties for her employer. She had been directed by text message to “make sure that you are wearing masks for all inspections”.

A tenant called the employer to complain that the Property Manager had attended an inspection unmasked.

Five days’ later, the Property Manager tested positive for COVID-19. She admitted, when asked, to not having worn a mask during inspections the previous week.

The Property Manager was summarily dismissed and filed an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission.

Commissioner Williams stated that employees bear the onus of reading and acting on text messages when commonly used, “just as it is if the employer had sent them an email or a letter”. 

The Commissioner found that the Property Manager either didn’t read the text message or she’d read it but had forgotten about it. Therefore, the Property Manager’s failure to wear a face mask at property inspections was not “wilful or deliberate conduct” that would justify summary dismissal.

The summary nature of the dismissal was harsh, and for that reason only, it was unfair.

As reinstatement was not appropriate, the employer was ordered to pay the Property Manager $1621.87 (3 weeks’ pay).

Take Out Point: Serious misconduct justifying summary dismissal requires there to be wilful or deliberate conduct. If an employee does not deliberately and knowingly refuse to carry out their employer’s lawful and reasonable direction, the dismissal may be considered harsh. Making a payment in lieu of notice may avoid time consuming and expensive FWC proceedings.

See: Deidre Te Wano v Just Property Management Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 2493 (19 September 2022)


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen

Due to the toll on my body, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the only job I have even known at the age of 41.

Even though I am financially secure, I want to keep working.

Is this normal?


Roger F 

Dear Roger F 

Absolutely, especially if you LOVE what you do.

I’m sure you will ACE whatever you are GAME to try.

I know you will SERVE those in your COMMUNITY without FAULT and SMASH this next chapter out of the COURT.




Jen's Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

Lying awake at night stressing about workplace issues?

Want peace of mind, greater confidence, reduced recruitment and legal costs?

Let’s chat about creating scripts tailored to your business, one-on-one coaching or team workshops by calling 0411 275 920. 15 minutes. No obligation.

I teach business owners and managers how to navigate the emotional and legal aspects of performance management with bespoke scripts, coaching, workshops, and courses.

Alternatively, 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.


Jen's After Work

Fun Fact

How the original (and best) Batman, Adam West played a prank using his local phone book. Genius!

What I’m Watching (on SBS)

Chef Guillaume Brahimi shares his secret local haunts in Paris’ 20 arrondissements in “Guillaume’s Paris”. [Warning: some viewers may feel compelled to book airline tickets after consuming this program].

What I’m Watching (on Disney)

I didn’t know I needed a mockumentary about a Philadelphia public school in my life until I watched “Abbott Elementary”. I guffawed out loud on a plane. People stared. I didn’t care. Clever. Hilarious.

What I’m Watching (on SBS)

It’s bleak, it’s depressing, and I have nightmares about Gilead, but I am so invested in the June vs Serena saga that I am back for season 5 of “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Praise be.

What I’m Watching (on Amazon Prime)

Amazon’s “Making The Cut” is “Project Runway” on steroids. Heidi’s there. Tim’s there. And someone who makes fa-shun that I don’t understand wins ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS!!! Therapeutic viewing after an episode of Handmaid’s.

What I Listen to Every Tuesday and Friday Without Fail (Podcast)

In “Pivot”, US tech journalist Kara Swisher and NYU Marketing Professor Scott Galloway are funny, fearless, and unfiltered. They talk about tech (sorry Elon), business, and politics. They make bold predictions (sorry Elon) and pick winners and losers (sorry Elon).


Jen's Last Word

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