While employers face an increasingly complex web of
legal obligations, there are a variety of reasonable management
actions that can be taken to help manage staff
This was the message conveyed by Cooper Grace Ward Partner Annie
Smeaton at a well-attended seminar for employers in Brisbane on
Wednesday 16 November 2016.
'What should be emphasised is that employee reliability
constitutes an inherent requirement of employment,' she
Ms Smeaton discussed the broad range of legal obligations
imposed on employers, highlighting that while the challenges can be
complex, there are a variety of reasonable management actions and
steps available to employers.
She discussed a number of important decisions, including the
Full Federal Court decision in CFMEU v Endeavour Coal 
FCAFC 76, concerning employee reliability.
Ms Smeaton also talked about key tips and practical steps
available to employers, including setting clear expectations around
notice and evidence requirements, keeping reliable records of
absenteeism and regularly monitoring those records.
'It is essential to address issues associated with staff
absenteeism early to identify any valid issues that may be
impacting staff, as well as determining any appropriate early
corrective actions,' she said.
Cooper Grace Ward's workplace relations and safety team is a
specialist group of highly experienced lawyers who have over 40
years' combined experience working with organisations of all
sizes providing strategic advice on the full spectrum of
employment, industrial relations, anti-discrimination and workplace
health and safety matters.
The team is experienced in a broad range of industries,
including construction, mining and resources, transport, labour
hire/recruitment, manufacturing, retail, security, education and
training, motor vehicle dealerships, community care and health.
Winner – EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009,
2010, 2011 and 2012
Winner – ALB Gold Employer of Choice 2011 and 2012
Finalist – ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010, 2011 and
2012 (Best Brisbane Firm)
Winner – BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best
Australian Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
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.
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An employer's duty is very high and can include engaging experts to inspect things such as stairways for latent defects.
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