Discrimination – what not to ask

Our thanks to Andrew Bland and Sarah Waterhouse of BlandsLaw for this blog post:

A recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision* highlights how easily employers may breach anti-discrimination legislation without necessarily intending to do so.

The complainant, a prospective employee, brought a claim against Woolworths because the online job application form required him to state his gender, date of birth and confirm his ability to lawfully work in Australia. Essentially the claim was that the requirement for job applicants to supply this information breached Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act by

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Leave accruals continue whilst on Workers’ Compensation

This blog post is courtesy of Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.

A recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia has now clarified that, in New South Wales at least, employees continue to accrue annual leave when they are absent from work and receiving workers compensation payments.

Section 130 of the Fair Work Act (FWA) provides that an employee is not entitled to take or accrue any leave if the employee is absent from work because of illness or injury for which they are receiving workers compensation payments under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law (Compensation Period), UNLESS permitted by that law to take or accrue any leave during the Compensation Period.

The relevant provision of NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987 (WCA), section 49, does not

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Can a family constitution help your family business thrive?

This blog post courtesy of members Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.

These conversations may be tricky, but talking about the future is crucial for ensuring the family owned business succeeds across generations.

A family constitution can be a valuable tool to assist the owners of medium to large family businesses in discussing and implementing a plan for the future of the business.

WHAT IS A FAMILY CONSTITUTION?

As good as a family business may be, it can only succeed and endure over time if it has a solid foundation of family consensus and buy-in.

Respondents to the KPMG and Family Business Australia Family Business Survey 2013identified “balancing of family and business issues” as their biggest challenge, yet only 16% had a family constitution.

A family constitution is a document which records the family’s values and

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Employers need performance reviews: Five reasons and five guidelines by BlandsLaw

We are reposting this article by Andrew Bland from the BlandsLaw website for the information of members.

It’s mid March already. If you’re a small to medium business owner you may be finalising your business plan for the year ahead – or perhaps your team has its head down, on the way to achieving its goals for this quarter. Managing your business’ performance effectively entails managing your employees’ performance effectively. An annual performance appraisal is an integral part of this process but should not be the only time that there is feedback between the employer and the employee.

Regular performance reviews enable you to:

  1. ensure your staff are on track to meet their goals, and therefore your business objectives
  2. identify and address any  issues at the earliest opportunity
  3. assist employees in developing their skills
  4. reduce your risk of exposure to adverse action or unfair dismissal claims.

There’s one more (important) good reason that you may not be aware of: the procedural fairness requirements of the Fair Work Act, 2009, together with more recent decisions of Fair Work Australia (FWA),impose on employers an obligation to act carefully and consistently when managing and disciplining employees.

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Local Chamber or RBF? What’s right for me?

By Sabrina Ferguson, Executive Officer

We get asked this question a lot: Should I join RBF or my local Chamber – or both?

Both local Chambers and RBF are Chambers of Commerce. RBF is overarching across Ryde, whereas local Chambers are typically localised in their business precinct: Eastwood, Epping, Gladesville, Ryde/Macquarie Park, West Ryde.

We usually recommend to individual retailers that they join their local Chamber first and see how that goes before joining RBF as well. Why? If you’re a local retailer you need to have a strong awareness of what’s happening right where you are. Your local Chamber members are your patrons; get to know them and they will use your retail service as you are there on the spot. Your local Chamber will help

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