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Substances — More chemicals added to database to ensure worker safety

More than 750 chemicals have been added to the Hazardous Chemical Information System to update classification information available for manufacturers, importers, suppliers and end users. The update includes the addition of 755 chemicals and amendments to more than 600 currently listed chemicals. The Hazardous Chemical Information System provides information on chemicals that have been classified in accordance with Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The details on the new and amended chemicals can be found by using the advanced search feature to show chemicals revised this week. The update incorporates classification information published under the Invent

When constitutes abandonment of employment?

Abandonment of employment generally arises where an employee absents themselves from the workplace without consent or notification and there is no reasonable excuse for their absence. Common examples include where an employee does not return to work from an authorised period of leave and when an employee walks out during a shift and does not return to work thereafter. In essence, abandonment constitutes a repudiatory breach of the contract of employment, with the breach residing in an express or implied intention no longer to be bound by the contract. The employer may accept the employee’s repudiation in order to bring the contract of employment to an end, or elect to keep the contract afoot

Summary dismissals by small businesses (unfair dismissal appeals)

A recent case of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) provides a useful illustration of how summary dismissals are dealt with under the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. The employer summarily dismissed the employee on the basis that he was running a business in competition with the employer. While the employer failed to provide the employee procedural fairness in effecting the dismissal, for the purposes of the Code it was sufficient that the employer believed, on reasonable grounds, that the employee’s conduct was sufficiently serious to justify his immediate dismissal. This provided an absolute defence to the employee’s unfair dismissal claim. If the case had been decided by reference to the

Minimum wage set to increase by 3.5% from 1 July 2018

The Fair Work Commission has increased the minimum wage by 3.5% to $719.20 a week or $18.93 an hours. This equates to an increase of $24.30 per week based on a 38 hour-week. The new rates will apply from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018. The increase in the minimum wage comes against the backdrop of a healthy labour market and economic outlook. According to the Commission, this provided the opportunity to improve the living standards of low paid workers and to enable them to better meet their needs. The Commission also agreed to raise modern award minimum wages by 3.5% and will publish the determinations necessary to give effect to this increase shortly. If you have any conc

Executive Renumeration Packages

In Australia executive remuneration practices and disclosure are regulated by a combination of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) (as amended), the ASX Listing Rules and the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s recommendations . The focus of remuneration regulation is to ensure that remuneration paid to executive employees is appropriately structured to strike a balance between providing appropriate reward for services rendered without encouraging excessive risk-taking or promoting corporate greed. Get the full Lexis Nexis story HERE. From time to time though, even executives need some help with their employment contracts, and that where Brian Newman and Workers First can help.

More than $200k in penalties in FWO’s first racial discrimination case

An employer has been fined more than $200,000 in the first racial discrimination case litigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). The Federal Circuit Court found that the employer discriminated against two migrant on account of their Malaysian nationality and Chinese descent. Brian Newman - Director of Investigations & Advocacy The workers were paid significantly less than Australian employees (in many instances below the award rate) and were required to work longer hours. The employer’s disregard of its obligations towards the workers was also seen its failure to keep a record of their hours. The FWO established that the workers were recruited, in part, because the owner knew that Malaysian



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