Former Australian Law Council president, barrister Arthur Moses SC, has attempted to offer employers some clarity on whether they can mandate worker vaccinations by highlighting a recent FWC case he describes as "highly instructive" when considering how to approach what he concedes is a difficult question.
A decision by NSW Trains to discipline a manager by shaving almost 10% off his annual pay constituted a dismissal even though he remains in the job and such action is allowed by its agreement and governing regulations, the FWC has held.
In a decision said to have "massively" raised the bar on compensation amounts, Queensland's Industrial Court has boosted a "manifestly inadequate" $50,000 payout to nearly $160,000 for a casual laundry worker who faced demands for s-x in return for work.
The FWC has redrawn an employer's "line in the sand" over the use of mobile phones while driving forklifts, ordering it to reinstate and compensate a worker after concluding he was harshly sacked for a first safety policy breach.
A senior FWC member has decided to forge ahead and determine whether a "deactivated" Uber driver is an employee, rejecting a bid to stay his unfair dismissal claim until the Federal Court tackles the question in a case he is pursuing with the Rideshare Driver Network.
The High Court's Rossato judgment is already having a knock-on effect, with a FWC full bench questioning its effect on Deliveroo's appeal of a finding that a rider was an employee and proposing not to determine it until the High Court decides two more cases.
A Coalition-dominated Senate inquiry has backed the FWC's request to delay implementing proposed extensions to its anti-sexual-harassment jurisdiction, but declined to support Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins' call to include her "positive duty" recommendation in the Morrison Government's Respect at Work legislation.
The FWC has ordered indemnity costs against a financial advisor held to have pursued a "meritless" unfair dismissal application nine months after resigning and a vexatious appeal because he believed his former employer was backing out of a separation deal.
IR academics say the High Court's "revolutionary" approach in Rossato signals an intention to rewrite the rules for determining employment status, with potentially dire consequences for gig workers and others seeking to challenge their characterisation.