The latest issue of The Workplace from DLA Phillips Fox is now
available. The Workplace provides news, perspectives and analysis
on legal developments and issues in the areas of workplace
relations, employment and safety.
In this edition of The Workplace we reflect on the major
developments of 2009. Some of the more significant changes have
arisen as a result of the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009
Many human resources managers have been hard at work
understanding the changes to the safety net with the introduction
of the National Employment Standards (NES) and modern awards. In
this edition of the Workplace we set out what you need to be
It is also timely to recap on how the national workplace
relations tribunal, Fair Work Australia is approaching its new role
in bargaining. In three parts we consider a number of recent cases
that highlight the challenges under the new system.
The end of 2009 also saw the publication of the draft model
occupational, health and safety (OHS) laws. This is a critical
development and where this leads in 2010 is of major importance to
health and safety managers throughout Australia.
We look at the model OHS laws and update you on how to prepare
for the proposed changes.
Each year delivers new thoughts and considerations when managing
diversity at work. We look at some of the major developments of
On the DLA Phillips Fox front, 2009 saw the continued
development of our relationship with our colleagues at DLA
We were able to enjoy the opportunity of having DLA Piper
partner, Joe Turzi from the Washington DC office share his thoughts
on good faith bargaining and we hope to welcome Joe back to
Australia again in 2010. We also had one of our valued team
members, Amber Millhouse, relocate to Hong Kong to work with the
new head of the DLA Piper Asian practice, Pattie Walsh. In this
issue of the Workplace, we are pleased to be able to share with you
Pattie's thoughts on employment issues in China in 2010.
By Brendan Charles
The new safety net, the 10 National Employment Standards (NES) and
modern awards, commenced operation on 1 January 2010. The safety
net sets the minimum terms and conditions of employment for all
employees captured under the federal system. An employer must
comply with the NES in relation to each of its employees or risk
By John Tuck
Some key features of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) are the
changes introduced to the collective bargaining framework. We now
have concepts such as majority support determinations, scope orders
and good faith bargaining requirements. The past few months have
seen a number of cases that give guidance on how these collective
bargaining elements may operate in practice. It has not all been
plain sailing for participants.
By Andrew Ball
OHS harmonisation remains on track to occur by 31 December 2011,
with State and Territory OHS legislation to be replaced by a model
Work, Health and Safety Act. The States/Territories other than
Western Australia have agreed to pass laws that mirror the Work,
Health and Safety Bill. Workplace Relations Ministers will also be
asked to agree on model Regulations in June 2011.
By Rick Catanzariti
While the bargaining and safety net changes introduced by the Fair
Work Act 2009 (Cth) stole much of the limelight in 2009, the past
year also saw significant developments in Equal Employment and
By John Tuck
The first six months under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act)
led to a flurry of cases concerning the right of unions as
bargaining representatives to apply for protected action ballots.
Issues continue to be raised as to whether the applicants are
genuinely trying to reach agreement. This led to familiar arguments
that where a union and the employees are seeking the inclusion of
clauses that do not pertain to the employment relationship they are
not genuinely bargaining.
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This publication is intended as a first point of reference and
should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.
Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any
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