McDonald Murholme is the leading employment law firm for employees located across Australia

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Read up on the latest news from McDonald Murholme, including case updates and legal commentary.

 

How to spot a dodgy internship - Seek Insights and Resources

Internships can be a great way to get industry experience; however, there are certain things you need to know before becoming an intern. There are plenty of dodgy internships out there – here’s the lowdown on what constitutes an internship, what your rights are, if you can expect to get paid and what you need

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Illegal interview questions - what employers have no right to ask

Employers use a job interview as a way to work out how suitable you are for a role and an interview is an ideal opportunity for you to discuss your skills and expertise. But what kind of questions are recruiters and hirers allowed to ask? The purpose of a job interview is to determine whether

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It is in a company’s best interest to offer flexible workplace arrangements - Australian Women Online

With Mothers’ Day coming up on Sunday 13th May, it’s a good time to recognise and celebrate the contribution of working mothers to the Australian economy. Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Libby Lyons says Australian women are increasingly active participants in the workforce while still performing close to double the unpaid domestic work

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Allens expects partners to retire at 65, KWM pays them to leave at 55 - The Financial Review

Top-tier law firm Allens expects its partners to retire at 65, which experts have suggested would be unlawful age discrimination. The revelation expands the types of partnerships that continue to hold onto the historic notion that it is legal to mandate or expect senior partners to retire at a specific age. Another law firm, King

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KPMG, EY partner retirement ages are 'unlawful discrimination' - The Financial Review

KPMG and Ernst & Young have engaged in the long-standing and widespread practice of retiring partners as young as 58 years old in what legal experts have warned is a clear case of unlawful age discrimination. The firms’ partnership agreements, seen by The Australian Financial Review, include clauses that either mandate or “expect” partners to retire at 58

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Banking royal commission - lessons for the Fair Work Commission - Lawyers Weekly

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has shed light on corporate misconduct at the highest management level. Alan McDonald asks if management will now judge itself by the standards it has demanded, of zero tolerance, from lower level employee’s workplace mistakes? Until now, management has successfully advocated to The Fair

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Don’t offer staff free lunch: Underpayment claims at Melbourne cafe Barry prompt legal warning for SMEs - Smart Company

Legal experts have warned businesses to take care when offering staff free incentives like coffee or lunch, especially if these are connected to staff salaries, after a Melbourne cafe was hit with serious underpayment claims from staff this week. Staff at Barry cafe in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote have claimed they had shifts cancelled

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Is criminalising “wage theft” a bad idea? - HRM

More unions are calling for wage theft laws, after NSW Labor already made it an election promise. HRM takes a look at the issue. In July last year NSW Labor flagged its intention to “criminalise the deliberate failure to pay wages and other entitlements”. And it appears the movement is growing. The Victorian Trades Hall Council and

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Internships: How to hire within the law - Seek

What is an intern? The words internship and work experience are often used interchangeably. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman an internship is a vocational placement – that is, a placement that is required by an educational institution or training course. Principal lawyer at employment law firm McDonald Murholme, Trent Hancock, says the law is primarily concerned

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Sydney’s Bar Coluzzi fined $97,000 for overseas worker cash-back scheme - Smart Company

A bar in Sydney and its former director have been fined a combined $97,000 following legal action for convincing an overseas worker to pay back some of her unpaid wages as part of a cash-back scheme. Bar Coluzzi in Darlinghurst had sponsored an Italian worker on a 457 skilled visa to work 40 hours a

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Protecting your SME when an employee leaves - Dynamic Business

Small businesses and startups face as much risk in employment as larger enterprises but they are often less well-equipped to address these issues. When working in a small business, people tend to form strong personal relationships and employers plan to retain staff. Sometimes, however, businesses need to dismiss staff for a number of reasons. While larger employers

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Freehills dispute exposes confusion over who lawyers work for - The Financial Review

Corporate lawyers routinely face the problem of getting conflicting instructions from board directors and owners because their client is a company, lawyers say. The inherent difficulty of taking instructions from a company – a non-speaking, artificial legal entity – was exposed this week after The Australian Financial Review detailed the multi-million dollar fallout between top tier law firm Herbert Smith

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FWC decides on domestic violence leave – what HR needs to know - HRM

The Fair Work Commission has decided that domestic violence leave will be covered by modern awards. As part of its four-yearly review of modern awards, The Fair Work Commission has ruled on domestic violence leave. It has decided that workers covered by the awards will now be able to access five days of unpaid domestic violence

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NAB and the marketing behind a massive retrenchment - HR Monthly

Making employees redundant can be one of HR’s most complicated tasks – due to the potential legal risks, and the need to negotiate with multiple stakeholders. Last Monday National Australia Bank confirmed it will drop 1,000 staff as part of a longer-term plan to retrench 6,000 workers (about one-in-five members of its workforce). At the

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Victorian roads funding defended by Minister - The Weekly Times

VICTORIAN road funding has been defended by Roads Minister Luke Donnellan, with a commitment that the State Government “won’t stop investing” to keep drivers safe. Following a report by The Weekly Times into the state of Victoria’s roads, which showed the poor condition of the network across Victoria, Mr Donnellan agreed there was room for improvement. “We know

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Legal experts weigh in on Malcolm Turnbull’s new ban on sexual relationships with staff - news.com.au

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently introduced a “sex ban” between ministers and staffers after it was found Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce had an affair with former staffer, Vikki Campion. McDonald Murholme Managing Director Alan McDonald, comments on how it can be inherently dangerous to impose a ban on sexual relations between consenting adults as

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Woolies lawyers to bear the brunt over ‘abysmal’ compliance - Lawyers Weekly

The in-house lawyers at Woolworths are set to feel the effects of a discovery that the cleaning contractors working at the bulk of the franchise’s Tassie stores were systemically breaking workplace laws. A lengthy investigation into the cleaning contractors by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) found “alarming levels of exploitation”, which it attributed to multiple

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Can you get away with an office romance in 2018? - HRM

Happy Valentine’s Day! Although perhaps you should think twice before asking your colleague out on a date. Office romance is not what it used to be. Just ask Barnaby Joyce, who’s alleged to have leveraged his position to get his mistress Vikki Campion a job in Senator Matt Canavan’s office in April 2017. Or remember

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Universities must be ‘held accountable’ for law grad oversupply - Lawyers Weekly

A managing director has responded to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s now infamous comments about there being “too many kids doing law”, saying that the onus must fall on the universities. According to McDonald Murholme managing director Alan McDonald, the law grad oversupply problem is largely due to the number of places universities offer students wanting

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Plumbing business fined $121,000 for underpaying worker wrongly considered an apprentice - Smart Company

A Victorian plumbing business has been fined $121,000 after it was found to have severely underpaid a worker they were incorrectly classifying an ‘apprentice’. McDonald Murholme Senior Associate Trent Hancock discusses the importance of correct documentation when organising an apprentice and simply saying someone is an ‘apprentice’ is not good enough. Plumbing business fined $121,000

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