Australia: Workplace Relations Monthly Update - January 2018

Last Updated: 8 February 2018
Article by Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger, Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, March 2019

In the media

Ruling on Sydney train strike denies human rights: union body
Monday's planned train strike in Sydney cannot go ahead, as ruled by the Fair Work Commission, but the peak union body says this just demonstrates the right to strike in Australia is "nearly dead" (25 January 2018). More...

Locked-out coal miners vow to continue 6-month picket
Mine workers affected by what's believed to be the longest lockout in Australian industrial relations history say they're willing to spend another six months on the picket line after rejecting a third offer from Glencore (25 January 2018). More...

More allegedly false Caltex franchisee wage records spark further legal action
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced another legal action alleging its attempt to audit a Caltex outlet in Sydney was obstructed by the franchisee providing falsified wage records (24 January 2018). More...

Enterprise bargaining collapse likely causing wage weakness, think tank warns
A collapse in private sector enterprise bargaining risks undermining Australia's industrial relations system and is likely to be a key factor in record low wages growth, the Australia Institute's Centre for Future Work says (22 January 2018). More...

Labour hire business to face court for alleged unlawful unpaid work experience
A Brisbane labour hire business will face court for allegedly underpaying 10 employees more than $14,000 through an unlawful unpaid work experience program (22 January 2018). More...

Truckies get $374,000 back-pay
Ten truck drivers who worked for an Adelaide transport company have been back-paid a total of $374,000 following successful legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman (17 January 2018). More...

Judge imposes $85,000 penalty as "sharp lesson" for repeat-offender childcare operator
A Judge has penalised a repeat-offender Melbourne childcare operator $85,000 for her latest staff underpayments, saying she required a "sharp lesson" to make her appreciate her legal obligations (09 January 2018). More...

Appointment of ABCC Commissioner
The Australian Government has today announced the appointment of Mr Stephen McBurney as the Commissioner of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for a five-year term commencing on 6 February 2018 (05 January 2018). More...

Published reports articles, speeches

Characteristics and use of casual employees in Australia
Geoff Gilfillan; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 19 January 2018
There has been discussion about the growth of casual employment in Australia over the past few decades with suggestions it is an insecure, precarious and non-preferred form of employment. This analysis sheds further light on whether preferences of casual workers are being met. More...

In practice and courts

ROC: New disclosure document requirements commencing on 29 January 2018
The purpose of this notice is to advise you of the new requirements for disclosure documents, introduced by the Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Regulations 2017, which will commence on 29 January 2018, when disclosures must now be made using the new prescribed form in Schedule 2.1A of the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (see r. 2.06AA(1)(b) & 2(b), Fair Work Regulations). More...

ABCC: 15 January 2018Funding Recipients – Updated Model Clauses and dedicated webpage
As a result of these changes, funding recipients are no longer required to comply with some elements of the 2016 Code on indirectly Commonwealth funded building work. Specifically, funding recipients are strongly encouraged, but no longer required to: obtain ABCC approval for a Workplace Relations Management Plan prior to entering into a contract with a code covered entity. More...

ABCC: 15 January 2018 Contractors - Model Clauses
Contractors must require subcontractors to produce a copy of an ABCC Letter of Compliance or a completed Self Declaration A or C in respect of the enterprise agreement or other industrial instruments that covers the subcontractor in relation to the building work. More...

Changes announced to Skilled Occupation Lists
Australia has announced changes to the skilled occupation lists for the immigration intake program for the year 2018. The changes take effect on Wednesday, 17 January 2018. The changes are listed here (17 January 2018).


Fair Work Ombudsman v Lohr [2018] FCA 5
INDUSTRIAL LAW – appeal from orders – whether primary judge erred in treating declarations as a consequence of default by respondent as not being binding on non-defaulting respondent – whether primary judge erred in treating multiple classes of contraventions grouped by s 557 of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) as single contravention with single maximum penalty – held: appeal allowed.

Adams v Windara Communities Ltd [2018] FCCA 40
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Fair work application dismissed. Fair Work Act 2009, ss.340, 341, 342.

Fair Work Ombudsman v Sureguard Security Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 1566
INDUSTRIAL LAW – admitted contraventions of s 45 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – contravention of Security Services Industry Award 2010 (Cth) – failure to pay casual loading, allowances, and minimum, overtime and penalty rates of pay – assessment of penalties – "grouping" of contraventions pursuant to s 557(1) – factors considered - Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ss 45, Pt 2-2, 539(2), 545(1), 546(1), 546(3)(a), 557, 557(1).

The FWC Bulletin
This weekly update lists current FWC decisions:
Volume 3/18 25 January 2018
Volume 2/18 18 January 2018
Volume 1/18 11 January 2018




No. 21: Building Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Act 2017

Assent: 23/05/2017 SG (No. 161) 23/5/2017 p.1 Commencement:, 85 on 31/01/2018: SG (No. 443) 19/12/2017 p.1 Not yet in operation: ss 4, 5, 13, 14, 16, 18(2)(3), 25, 28-30, 39-41, 43-48, 52, 54, 59(2), 85: on 31/01/2018: SG (No. 443) 19/12/2017 p 1 ss 3(1)(3), 6-12, 15, 17(2), 20, 21(1), 22-24, 42, 57-59(1), 60-65, 66(2)-71, 77, 78, 84, 101, 102, 109, 111.

Statutory Rules made

No. 136: Building Amendment (Powers of Entry and Other Matters) Regulations 2017
reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-9: on 31/01/2018: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 19/12/2027.

Access Victorian legislation at

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Michael Selinger
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions