Jen's Workplace News


We are back with a workplace trend, news snippets, an interesting case, an article about the Gender Pay Gap Bill, as well as sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.

This edition’s bonus is an Unfair Dismissal Fact Sheet…and of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing 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?

Companies continue to become more aware of their legal obligations regarding mental health.

Under the model WHS laws, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must manage the risk of psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

A psychosocial hazard is anything that can harm someone’s mental health including bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, job demands, lack of role clarity, poor support or a poor physical environment.

Are you doing enough to ensure the health and safety of others in your workplace?

See: Psychosocialhazards


Jens Articles and Cases


Black Dog Institute Free Webinar

The Black Dog Institute is running a webinar on Wednesday 15 March, 12:00 – 12:45PM (AEDT) – “Workplace Mental Health: A focus on prevention and early intervention”.

To register: Black Dog Webinar

Research Reveals Older Workers Not Getting Pay Rises

Younger workers are doing better than their older counterparts when it comes to pay and upskilling initiatives, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. It’s suggested that this is because older workers don’t ask, so don’t get. Youngsters are prepared to quit if they don’t get what they want.

See: Older workers urged to kick up a stink

Commonwealth Bank Doesn’t Support Fully Remote Roles 

The Commonwealth Bank does not believe there’s any role that can be done completely remotely, according to an article in the AFR. The Bank’s research indicates working from home more than 2 days a week reduces collaboration by a third. Remote work affects productivity and there’s a concern it increases gender imbalances.

See: CBA remote network


Employee Dismissed After Calls For Revolution Against COVID Lockdowns on LinkedIn

A casual Census collector asked her 7000 LinkedIn connections “to stand up and revolt against Government lockdowns”. This breached the ABS code of conduct and social media policy “because it was in support of a political message and identified her as an ABS employee without disclaimer”. Disrespectful emails were also sent to the employer during the investigation process.

A member of the public complained to the ABS that the Census collector had identified herself as an ABS employee and she was sprouting “crazy COVID conspiracy theories and misinformation”.

After being dismissed from her employment, the Census collector brought general protections proceedings. She sought a finding “that the termination of her employment was a violent personal act taken for reason/s that included her expression of political opinion”.

The ABS maintained that the “inappropriate, aggressive [and] disrespectful” emails sent by the Census collector to her manager when asked to respond to the breaches gave the ABS “no confidence that she understood its policies and what was expected of her in terms of appropriate workplace behaviour“.

The Court found that the ABS did not dismiss the employee for having a political opinion, but rather for “choosing to post her political opinion in a manner that breached” the ABS’ code of conduct and social media policy.

See: Skelton v Commonwealth of Australia trading as Australian Bureau of Statistics [2023] FedCFamC2G 89 (13 February 2023)

Take Out Point: Employees are entitled to express themselves on social media but when they identify their employer and act inconsistently with their employer’s code of conduct and social media policy, there can be serious consequences for their employment.


Gender Pay Gap Bill 

The Federal Government has introduced the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 into Parliament.

Amongst other things, the Bill will require the publishing of gender pay gaps of employers with 100 or more workers.

The Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, said “on average, women working full-time can expect to earn 14.1 per cent less than men per week in their pay packets”. 

“On current projections it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap”.

Global experience shows that transparency encourages organisations to take action to close the gap.

See: Gender Pay Media Release 

BONUS – Unfair Dismissal Essentials Checklist

In order for an employee to qualify to bring an Unfair Dismissal Claim in the Fair Work Commission, certain boxes must be ticked.

Check out our Unfair Dismissal Fact Sheet.


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen

My wife made me attend a work event with her.

The tv cameras caught me looking bored, my wife telling me to fake smile, and now, well…you’ve probably seen the memes.

Any tips for getting out of future bore-fests?

Ben A

Dear Ben

We all saw your resting butch face at the Grammys.

I don’t get it. “Love don’t cost a thing”. Your wife had been “waiting for tonight”.

She could have gotten “loud” and put you “on the floor”. But she didn’t because of her “amor, amor, amor” for you.

Sorry Batman…there’s an implied term in every marriage contract that requires attendance at boring spousal work events.

Sending strength,

Jen (ny from the block)


Jen's Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

Do You Avoid Difficult Conversations?

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.

If you love getting this newsletter in your LinkedIn feed or your inbox once a fortnight (with no spamming in between) please share it with fellow lovers of employment law and entertainment. They can sign up here or Thanks! 


Jen's After Work

What I Adored (on Foxtel/Binge)

Helena Bonham Carter is divine in “Nolly”, a 3 part bio-series based on 1970’s/80’s British soap star Noele Gordon. The national uproar when Nolly’s character was written out of “Crossroads” after 17 seasons was extraordinary. [Makes you think what would happen if Alf Stewart was booted off “Home and Away” after 35 years].

What I’m Loving (on Apple TV+)

I’ll watch anything with Connie Britton or Piper from “Orange Is The New Black”. “Dear Edward” has both. And a plane crash. I’m not much of a fan of plane crashes. But this series is less about the crash and more about the beautiful relationships that arose from it. Did I mention Connie Britton’s in it?

What I’m Being Drip Fed (on 7 plus)

In my ongoing quest to earn an online medical degree, I am now watching “Maternal”. Three English female doctors return to work in the NHS after parental leave and the plague. Watching them juggle kids, medicine and unsupportive men is exhausting, so best to watch when caffeinated.

What I’m Excited to See Back (on Foxtel/Binge)

Sometimes, at the end of a long day, I just need an Italian holiday, or at least, to escape by streaming one. Season 2 of 1920’s period drama “Hotel Portofino” has dropped. Bellísimo!

Vroom! It’s Back (on Netflix)

“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” is the docuseries that inexplicably turned millions of normal people into obsessed Formula 1 experts. Grumpy world champion Max Verstappen has decided to participate on camera, and not just in his car, this season. Meh! I’ll be focussing on the drama between racing team chiefs, Toto Wolff and Christian Horner.

What I Watched One Ep Of (on Netflix)

Buoyed by the success of “Drive to Survive” someone had the bright idea to take us behind the scenes of the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, golf is boring. One for the true believers (or those who need sleep after a few hectic episodes of “Maternal”).


Jen's Last Word

Subscribe To Our Newsletter


Sign up to my mailing list for my practical & funny fortnightly workplace newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!