The Fair Work Act's stand down provisions enabled employers to shift the pandemic's economic risks to employees, according to new analysis by IR law experts Anthony Forsyth and Andrew Stewart, who also say legal uncertainty about the provisions could imperil the stand down strategies used by companies such as Qantas as business gradually resumes.
The FWC has ordered NSW Trains to reinstate a health and safety representative who told his supervisor to "get f-cked" and said he was trying hard not to punch him in the face, while it has pilloried the employer for adopting a "grossly disproportionate" approach to his outburst after ignoring his concerns.
Australia had less need than other countries to turn to legislation to provide short-term workplace flexibility in response to COVID-19 because of "swift" and "bold" yet self-restrained interventions by the FWC, according to new research.
A tribunal has ordered the NSW Rural Fire Service to revisit its rejection of a senior manager's request for a year's leave to recover from the devastating 2019-20 bushfire season, while acknowledging concerns about a leadership void for the approaching summer and urging it to extend its search for a temporary replacement.
BHP's announcement that its workforce will have to be vaccinated by the end of January has failed to win support from the miners' union, with a State leader championing the alternative of education and incentives while pointing out that the company is not the direct employer of most of its workers.
The insights gained from the rapid shift to working from home during COVID-19 could lead to the adoption of a "genuine consultation" requirement under the Fair Work Act's "right to request" flexibility that might start "a conversation aimed at reaching a mutually suitable arrangement", according to a new paper by two leading IR academics.