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

Previous Reports

Rumour File informant dismissed unfairly, Fair Work rules, The Age

A Department of Human Services employee sacked for blowing the whistle on talkback radio about razor wire being installed at Parkville Youth Detention Centre has won his unfair dismissal battle. JR phoned 3AW’s popular Rumour File segment last August and said: ”They’re gonna put up razor wire to keep the inmates in. They’ve been escaping a

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Am I still entitled to an unfair dismissal remedy if my employer mistakenly believes that I have resigned?

The Issue The employee, a rental manager, sought a remedy for Unfair Dismissal against City Motor Transport Group, a small business motor vehicle rental company. The employer contested the application on the basis that he had not been dismissed at the initiative of the employer, and asserted that the employee had resigned. What happened? On

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The role of support persons in unfair dismissal claims

A support person is a person that an employee brings to a discussion relating to dismissal for practical or emotional support. Many myths abound about the obligations of employers relating to support persons, and our clients often report confusion about their rights in this area. We will here explain the law with regards to support

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Redeployed and redundant?

What happened? WG was a Senior Manager of Property Finance at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, managing a portfolio of commercial property loans. In addition, he also had budgeting and personnel management responsibilities for the business unit. In 2009, as part of a company restructure, his business unit was absorbed into another. His new role was that

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When is a Volunteer not a Volunteer?

A volunteer is a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. Many of our clients consider themselves, or are considered by others, to be volunteers. Whether or not a person is a volunteer has drastic implications for their ability to bring an action for unfair dismissal in the

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Could Senior Employees Enjoy Fewer Freedoms Than Their Juniors?

Many people think the relationship between employer and employee is defined only by their employment contract and legislation such as the Fair Work Act. In some cases, very senior employees owe duties to their employers over and above those outlined in the contract. In Bayley & Associates v DBR Australia, the Federal Court found that

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Why Do Some Casual Employees Win Overtime Rates?

On 17 April 2014, the Federal Court of Australia Sydney Night Patrol and Inquiry Company Limited t/as SNP Security v Pulleine [2014] FCA 385 shed light on this issue. What happened? Mr N is a security officer who works on a fortnightly roster. In December 2011, Mr N filed an application in the Chief Industrial Magistrate’s

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Struggling To Take Your Sick Leave?

When JB was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in late 2010, he informed his employer of the diagnosis. Shortly afterwards, they began pressuring him to resign to prevent him taking his sick leave and eventually dismissed him, withholding his accrued annual leave. This forced JB to rely on Centrelink whilst he underwent chemotherapy. The Federal Court upheld

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One day late , is too late

Under s 394(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), an unfair dismissal application must be made within 21 days after the dismissal took effect. This means that such an application must be lodged with the Fair Work Commission three weeks from your date of dismissal. Although the Fair Work Commission may grant extensions of

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No principles, SCABS, no guts!

Should someone fear termination for standing up for not just their rights but the rights of their colleagues? Mr Doevendans’ employment was terminated after he was seen protesting at the entrance to the mine site with a sign that read “No principles, SCABS, no guts!” Mr Doevendans was the Vice President of the Lodge, a

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One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Poison

Have you ever thought twice before you posted something on Facebook, out of fear that your account might not be as private as you would like to believe? Well maybe you should. Social media has not just invaded our own lives; it has opened the door for employers to regulate our behaviour in our personal

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Have I Been Unfairly Dismissed?

When employees have been dismissed they often think first about “unfair dismissal” – often due to media saturation about this avenue or the preference of unions. In reality, unfair dismissal claims are strictly limited. Do any of these apply? • Have you been employed for less than 6 months? You cannot make a claim, save

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Called into a Disciplinary Meeting?

Being called into an impromptu disciplinary meeting is not an uncommon occurrence in Australian workplaces. It is important that you understand your rights prior to attending such a meeting so as to protect your interests long term. In the circumstance that you are not able to avoid the meeting, it is important that you are

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Taking Claims Straight To The FWC Isn't Always Advised

McDonald Murholme believes that sometimes it can be a mistake to make a claim directly to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) without representation. In a recent article posted on Workplace Express, Commissioner Anna Cribb reaffirmed this when she announced that the FWC had received only 66 applications for anti-bullying orders since January 1. Cribb stated

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Redundancy On Your Mind?

If you are facing redundancy due to a restructure or downsizing at your workplace, your employer owes you certain obligations. Generally, an employer must: • Consult with you about workplace change – some workplaces require additional consultation with a union; • Consider options for redeployment – this includes within related entities; • Give you notice

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