Category: Employment

2021 Changes to the Fair Work Act

The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021 has been passed through Parliament and came into effect on 27 March 2021.  The bill amended the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”) by implementing several reforms, including: the introduction of a definition for ‘casual employee’; the introduction of an ‘Casual Employee Information […]

Can employers require their employees to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

The first phase of Australia’s coronavirus vaccination program began on 22 February 2021. Approximately 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers, hotel quarantine workers and aged care staff and residents over the next several weeks.   The second part of the first phase of vaccinations will be distributed […]

JobKeeper test case – appeal

Since our recent blog about the first JobKeeper test case, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has  appealed the decision handed down by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). To summarise our last blog, in December 2020, the AAT handed down its decision in Apted and Federal Commissioner of Taxation [2020] AATA 5139. The AAT decided to allow […]

JobKeeper – the first test case

Many small businesses have remained afloat thanks to the JobKeeper scheme which allows employers to keep their employees following the effects of Covid-19.  Other small businesses have significantly suffered financially after being denied by the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) of JobKeeper payments due to technicalities. On 21 December 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled on […]

Big Changes to Employment Law in 2021

What a year 2020 has been. We began the new decade with this country in a haze of drought and devastating bushfires, just as the fires were put out, Australia and the rest of the world was thrown into the uncertainty of a global pandemic and economic downturn. It is fair to say that 2020 […]

Mere business downturn may not be lawful grounds for stand down

Before March 2020, the stand down provision under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”) was uncommonly used. Then came Covid-19 and with many Australian businesses struggling in such unprecedented times, actions were taken without understanding legal obligations to employees. A stand down under section 524 of the Act permits an employer to stand down […]

What is a sick day? Mondelez v AMWU: High Court Delivers Certainty Over Personal/Carer’s Leave Obligations

A recent interpretation of the personal/carer’s leave in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”) by the High Court provides clarity of an important issue for both businesses and workers. Earlier this year, the High Court issued its decision in Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, printing and kindred Industries Union known […]

Pay increase for group 2 workers – do your employees fall under group 2?

The Fair Work Commission announced in June a 1.75% increase to minimum wages as part of its annual review. Due to the significant impacts of the pandemic in some industries, the start date of the wage increase was staggered in 3 different groups. Group 1 had a wage increase in 1 July 2020. These included […]

Employment matters – we like to understand your business

Employment law affects all businesses with employees. Employment relationships can be complex and the rights and responsibilities are ever-evolving. An employment law “health check” is worth the investment to ensure your business is compliant with legal obligations whilst protecting your business’ interests for the future. At Cohen Legal, we pride ourselves in providing our clients […]

Super and annual leave – topic of the day

Whether superannuation guarantee (SG) had to be paid in respect of annual leave loading was a confused issue. In early 2019,  the ATO clarified its position by confirming that annual leave loading will be ordinary time earnings (OTE) unless there is written evidence clarifying the reason for the loading and that it is referrable to […]