Jen's Workplace News


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

I look at key budget measures that will impact workplaces, as well as other issues in the news.

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 trend am I seeing out there in the workplace world?

Discussions (and angst) about Christmas shutdowns have started. Being on leave without pay can have a real financial impact on those employees (such as recent hires) who don’t have sufficient annual leave accrued to cover the closure period.

Tip: Companies should have a clear policy in place regarding their Christmas shutdown and ensure it is conveyed to all new employees on commencement. Reminders should be conveyed to all employees throughout the year. Employers with staff who may be under financial pressure or need to use leave for school holidays may consider options to ease the strain (such as offering a work from home project).


Jens Articles and Cases


Hairdresser’s Spa Injury At Christmas Party ‘Work Related’

A hairdresser attended a work Christmas party that included an overnight stay, lunch and unlimited alcohol. She exited a spa whilst intoxicated, and slipped, breaking her hip and leg. At first instance it was found that the injury had arisen from the hairdresser’s employment. This was upheld on appeal. Whilst every case turns on its facts, this case demonstrates the need for employers to have firm policies in place regarding work events, particularly when alcohol is served.

See: Return to Work Corporation of South Australia v Valentine and Karrara Hair and Beauty Centre [2022] SAET 134 (4 October 2022).

No Extension of Time For Discrimination Claim In Cricketers’ Case

A receptionist employed by the Tasmanian Cricket Association claimed she was sexually harassed by former Australian test cricket captain Tim Paine and other employees. She sought an extension of 2 years and 10 months to lodge her unlawful discrimination claim. The Federal Court has refused to grant the extension. The Court found the length of the delay in bringing the application presented a “very substantial impediment” and it had “likely caused significant prejudice” and could not be justified.

See: Ferguson v Tasmanian Cricket Association (trading as Cricket Tasmania) (No 3) [2022] FCA 1269 (27 October 2022)

Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave Now in NES

On 27 October 2022, the House of Representatives agreed to the Senate’s amendments to the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022. The current NES entitlement of 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year has been replaced with 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.

See: Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022.

Respect@work Portal

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a website to provide resources for employers and employees regarding the positive duty that will be in place under the upcoming sexual harassment legislative amendments. The website has best practice guides, training programs, workplace assessment tools, videos and more.



The Albanese Government delivered its first Federal Budget in October 2022. Some of the key budget measures that will impact workplaces are:

  • implementing the Respect@work report recommendations, including funding for Working Women’s Centres to provide advice on gender issues in the workplace, for education and compliance with the new sexual harassment legislation and for the establishment of a workplace sexual harassment resource centre.
  • increasing childcare subsidies for parents and the expansion of the paid parental leave scheme up to 26 weeks.
  • legislating a ban on fixed term contracts to enhance job security for workers.
  • the Fair Work Ombudsman to take over the Australian Building and Construction Commission regulatory role and to provide support and advice to small business on the introduction of the new workplace entitlement to 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave.
  • funding for the FWC to handle gender equity pay cases, tackle sexual harassment, provide proactive support to workers and small businesses to help reach agreements and enhance processing of small claims.
  • supporting an update of enterprise bargaining for small businesses.
  • building a Carer Friendly Workplace Framework to support employers who manage employees with caring responsibilities.

Take Out Point: The Federal Government has a busy agenda regarding workplace issues and has budgeted to implement their plans. Watch this space.


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen,

I recently bought an online media platform. Some say I am a twit for paying so much for it, but I have my reasons.

Besides, I’ve already saved a fortune by sacking half my staff via email.

I’m not seeking any advice from you, I just wanted to let you know that my HR systems are as fast as my cars and rockets.



Dear E.M,

Planet Mars called. Whenever you’re ready…




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

Public Service Announcement: Consuming Content On Planes

I was almost concussed by my ricocheting iPad thanks to a passenger reclining their seat on a domestic flight last week. Who are these people and can we have them banned? (Not a rhetorical question).

What I Binged (on Netflix)

Somehow I missed the memo on “Derry Girls”. Memo finally arrived. [Warning: you will laugh out loud, even if on a plane with a seat in your face].

What I am Watching (on ABC iview)

I wish Kitty Flanagan was my friend. Her genius show “Fisk” is back for season 2. Who knew that a series about a suburban solicitor in a brown suit could bring so much joy!

What I Binged (on Netflix)

I inhaled Ryan Murphy’s miniseries starring Bobby Cannavale, Naomi Watts and Jennifer Coolidge. “The Watcher” is based on the true story of a couple who are stalked after buying their dream New Jersey home. [Tip: You’ll enjoy it more with your doors and windows locked].

What I’ve Started Watching (on Netflix)

David Tennant and Stanley Tucci star in “Inside Man”. That’s all you need to know.

What I’m Excited About (on Binge/Foxtel)

Last year’s surprise hit, “The White Lotus” is back. Jennifer Coolidge and a bunch of new holiday- makers engage in “chaos, romance, scandal and murder” on a Sicilian cliff top.

What I Will Be Watching (on Netflix)

Cancel your dinner plans. The latest instalment of “The Crown” drops on 9 November. This season covers the Diana years. Will it be awkward to watch? Yes. Will we watch anyway? Hell yes!

Podcasts I Am Listening To

Brene Brown’s “Dare To Lead” podcast is back (only on Spotify). Loved the 2 part discussion with Adam Grant and Simon Sinek. Light bulb moments!

“The Diary of a CEO” is amazing every week but the ep with rockstar Prof Scott Galloway – “The Number One Reason This Generation is Struggling” – blinded me with light bulb moments.

Loving the “Your Business Boost” podcast with Michelle Broadbent, especially the ep featuring the very fabulous Shelly Horton discussing a workplace issue we need to talk about – “Peri-menopause & Business”. Entertaining and insightful.


Jen's Last Word

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