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sexual harassment, workplace, work health and safety, WHS, Respect at Work, employer, employee, PCBU, sex discrimination, victim, hostile, prevention, reasonably practicable
26 Mar 2024

New laws preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces

Recently there has been a lot of publicity about new Commonwealth laws, taking effect toward the end of 2023, aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. Recurring themes in this publicity are the stimulus for these laws, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020); and the phrase […]
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industrial manslaughter, negligent, negligence, boss, employer, liable, penalty, death, scaffolding, workplace, construction, safety, worker, employee
08 Mar 2024

Negligent bosses in NSW to face 20 years in jail for industrial manslaughter

Employers found liable for industrial manslaughter could face up to 20 years in jail under tough new negligence laws to come into operation in NSW in 2024. New industrial manslaughter laws following worksite deaths NSW Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis has said she will bring in new industrial manslaughter laws which will significantly increase penalties […]
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driverless cars, self driving car, automated vehicle, autonomous vehicle, vehicle, car, truck, road, driver, safety, pedestrian, swerve, crash, brakes, computer, law, public road, National Transport Commission, NRMA, accident, traffic, highway
13 Jun 2023

Driverless cars are coming – but whose fault will it be when they crash?

Are driverless cars safe? We know that driverless cars are coming. So imagine the future, when you get into your driverless car, set the controls to take you home, sit back and relax as the autonomous vehicle sets off down the road. You are in the driver’s seat, but your hands aren’t on the steering […]
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sacked on probation, sacked, probation, dismissed, unfair dismissal, employer, employee, employment, Fair Work Act, ombudsman, wages, entitlements, notice
10 Nov 2022

Can I be sacked on probation?

“Can I be legally sacked on probation? I thought I’d have to be caught stealing from the office, dodging work or really stuffing up an assignment, but no, I was fired for no reason at all. Is that legal?” Is it legal to be sacked on probation? The short answer is yes – you can […]
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electric scooters, scooter, e-scooter, trial, NSW, law, commute, road rules, pedestrian, safety, rider, cycle path, road, footpath, insurance, accident, injure
03 Nov 2022

Electric scooters a legal grey area as trial conducted in NSW

Visit any city in Europe nowadays and you will be astonished at the number of electric scooters zipping around carrying one or even two people, at speeds up to 25 kph. Men and women in office clothing commute to work on them. Teenagers ride them to school. At night glammed-up folk scooter off to parties […]
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Roe v Wade, trigger laws, Dobbs v Jackson, USA, Constitution, amendment, Supreme Court, abortion, ban, overturn, precedent, lobbyist, anti-abortion, Bill of Rights, due process
26 Jul 2022

Roe v Wade overturned – will it set a precedent for Australian law?

Roe v Wade establishes constitutional protection for abortion in 1973 If you had recently asked someone about the significance of the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Womens’ Health Organisation, you’d likely get a blank look. But if you had referred to “the case that overturned Roe v Wade”, it would be quite […]
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electronic surveillance, privacy, productivity, boss, worker, employer, employee, work from home, Covid, pandemic, workplace surveillance, tracking, computer, camera, monitor, covert, technology
02 Mar 2022

Can your boss use electronic surveillance to monitor you when you’re working from home?

We know the boss can monitor everything we do in the workplace, whether they do it in person or via electronic surveillance. They can keep tabs on your computer use, time spent in the tearoom, smoko breaks and long boozy lunches. They can also track websites you’ve visited, chats with colleagues or phone calls to […]
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duty of care to employees, employer, employee, risk, workplace, workplace injury, plaintiff, defendant, health and safety, premises, Civil Liability Act, foreseeable, precautions, negligent, compensation
15 Feb 2022

Failure to meet duty of care to employees costs employer $120,000 for rolled ankle

Sometimes it’s much wiser to agree to a worker’s reasonable request than risk breaching your duty of care to employees, which could land you in a court battle. This is the scenario that played out for a Canberra employer, whose receptionist rolled her ankle while rushing to answer the office phone. The employer was taken […]
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mental health discrimination, mental health, discrimination, disorder, insurance, insurer, policy, payout, evidence, dispute, obstacle, disability discrimination, Anti-Discrimination Act, PIAC, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
09 Feb 2022

PIAC report identifies pattern of mental health discrimination in insurance industry

A ten year study of the insurance industry’s treatment of people has found systemic mental health discrimination that requires high-level investigation. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has compiled a report on mental health discrimination in the insurance sector. It found people with a mental health history are often being denied insurance, or are offered […]
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workers compensation for Covid, Covid19, coronavirus, claim, workers comp, SIRA, employer, employee, infection, infected, essential services, vaccine, vaccinated, vaccination
26 Oct 2021

Can you claim workers compensation for Covid if you’re infected at work?

With the coronavirus lockdown coming to an end, many employers and building owners could be liable to pay workers compensation for Covid to people who acquire the illness at their workplace or premises. Claims could surge as employees return to the workplace and customers rush back to shop, dine and socialise. Workers compensation costs could […]
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common assault, assault, police complaint, section 10, guilty, conviction, injury
14 Oct 2021

Does a smack on the bottom constitute common assault?

Annabel Bassil was managing a Sydney bar when a man she didn’t know smacked her on the bum, an action that landed him in court for common assault. Upon being smacked, the 22-year-old was shaken, reduced to tears and felt violated. Police were called and the man was thrown out of the bar. The next […]
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work safety poster, employer, employee, WHS, OHS, work health and safety, work safety, NCAT, sexual harassment, discrimination
05 Oct 2021

Work safety poster leads to $200,000 damages award

A work safety poster has ended up costing $200,000 in damages after a court agreed it had made a female employee of Sydney Water feel like a “sex object”. The problem was that the poster bore the words “Feel Great – Lubricate!” over a photo of the smiling female employee, who was stretching up and […]
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super insurance, superannuation, super fund, super account, death cover, income protection, TPD, total and permanent disability, claim, hardship, disabled, payout, lump sum
21 Apr 2021

Unable to work? You might be able to claim on your super insurance

Many people who are suffering hardship are unaware they could get financial assistance through their super insurance. Often hidden in the fine print on your superannuation statement, it’s easy to miss, especially as you don’t arrange the insurance. Instead, the premium is automatically deducted from your super account. What does super insurance cover? Your super […]
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horseplay in the workplace, work site, skylarking, injury, work injury, duty of care, compensation, damages
23 Mar 2021

Horseplay in the workplace leads to $662,102 in damages

A certain amount of joking, skylarking and horseplay in the workplace is usually harmless and lightens the atmosphere, keeping up the spirits of workers. But when it goes too far and someone is injured, the consequences can be very serious and costly. Such was the case of Jony Ajia. In 2020 the District Court heard […]
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sacking an employee, employer, Australian Defence Force, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, employment, unfair dismissal, discrimination
15 Oct 2020

Sacking an employee who criticises your client is not unfair dismissal, says Federal Court

After a law firm was sued for sacking an employee who persisted in publicly criticising the government, the Federal Court upheld the firm’s right to dismiss him, noting that the firm did a lot of work for the government and that the employee had refused to follow the employer’s direction. Review into abuse in the […]
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smokers rights, Smoke-free Environment Act, smoking ban, strata law, smoke break, discrimination, smoking ban, smoking laws
09 Oct 2020

Q&A: What are smokers’ rights in Australia?

As we’re often asked about smokers’ rights, we’ve provided a Q&A to give you a comprehensive understanding of where exactly Australians can now legally light up. Is it permitted to smoke in enclosed public areas? No. For example, under the NSW Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and NSW Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016, smoking and the use […]
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work-related fatalities, death rates, injuries, non-fatal injuries, fatal accidents, injured workers, safety, WHS, OHS, Work Health and Safety Act, employer, employee, deceased
08 Oct 2020

Data underscores continuing grim reality of work-related fatalities in Australia

A shocking level of work-related fatalities is disclosed in the figures regularly released by Safe Work Australia. A total of 3,751 workers have been killed in work-related incidents between 2003 and 2018. While Safe Work Australia has stated that the incidence of fatalities is declining, in 2019 there were still 183 worker fatalities, compared to […]
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Workers comp, workers compensation, coronavirus, covid-19, employee, worker, employer, compensation, supermarket, childcare, cafe, funeral home
16 Sep 2020

Covid-19 workers comp amendments broaden range of protected workers in NSW

Further legislative changes have been made to workers compensation in NSW, expanding the range of workers who are compensated under the NSW Workers Compensation Act and Regulations if they contract coronavirus. On 24 July 2020, the Workers Compensation Amendments (Consequential Covid-19 Matter) Regulation 2020 took effect and extended the Covid-19 workers compensation presumptions to additional […]
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