Whilst many HR Managers and employers feel they have a firm
grip on the relevant legal requirements, it doesn't hurt to
have a few useful facts at hand to refresh your memory and/or to
guide you through some potentially complex workplace
Unless a workplace policy or other instrument provides
otherwise, the obligation to permit an employee to have a support
person present in a meeting extends only to circumstances where
termination of employment is to be discussed.
Employer Superannuation Contributions
Employers only have to make statutory superannuation
contributions up to the maximum superannuation contribution base
(unless a contract provides otherwise). The maximum superannuation
contribution base is currently (note that it changes annually)
$50,810 per quarter, $203,240 per annum.
Businesses with fewer than 15 employees are not required to pay
redundancy pay (unless an Award, Enterprise Agreement or an
employment agreement says otherwise).
Employer Liability in Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
Employers can avoid liability in relation to discrimination and
sexual harassment claims if they can demonstrate that they took
reasonable precautions to prevent an offending employee from
breaching the obligations.
Notice of Representational Rights
An entire enterprise bargaining process will be set aside if the
Notice of Representational Rights issued at the commencement of the
process is not entirely compliant.
"Three Warning" Termination
There is usually no legal requirement for employees to be given
"three warnings" before the termination of their
employment comes about (the exception to this is where a workplace
policy or other instrument provides for a "three
warnings" process). It is only necessary for an employee to be
given a reasonable opportunity to improve the relevant conduct or
performance (unless serious misconduct is involved).
If in doubt
There are many lesser-known requirements and obligations when it
comes to workplace relations law. There are also many "urban
myths". This article has flagged just a few of them. If in
doubt as to any workplace relations or HR issue, HR Managers and
employers should check their internal documents, including policies
and contracts where applicable, and/or seek advice to avoid costly
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.Madgwicks is a member
of Meritas, one of the world's largest law firm
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An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
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