Two unions are poised to lodge legal challenges to penalty rate cuts as early as tomorrow after the Fair Work Commission issued determinations on transitional arrangements in the retail and hospitality sectors.
The owners of a Coffee Club café franchise have been fined more than $180,000 for taking advantage of a desperate 457 skilled visa worker who they first refused to pay and then forced to hand back $18,000 under threat of ending his sponsorship.
A security company must provide United Voice with internal correspondence about its practice of engaging contractors and employees, as the union pursues it for allegedly employing two embassy guards on sham contracts and sacking them when they refused to waive legal rights.
The Federal Government has sidestepped an "irregular" question from the Fair Work Commission about whether it planned to change the Fair Work Act to enable the tribunal to make take-home pay orders in cases like the landmark penalty rates review.
Business groups have told the FWC that it is prohibited from varying or revoking its decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates and have slammed United Voice over its call for the case to be immediately concluded so that it can launch a judicial review.
As the FWC calls for submissions on an employer bid to ditch the term "penalty rates" and replace it with "additional remuneration", a senior union-clientele lawyer is warning of a "slippery slope" if recognition of a need to compensate those working unsociable hours is removed.
The FWC has asked the Turnbull Government to clarify whether it intends to amend the Fair Work Act to enable the tribunal to make take home pay orders to potentially mitigate hardship flowing from its decision to cut hospitality and retail workers' penalty rates, and is seeking further submissions on transitional arrangements.