Workforce year-ender: the big issues 2018, and what lies ahead

Workforce surveyed key IR figures on what they saw as the big issues in 2018, and what they expected to be the major talking points for 2019. Here’s what they said: Kelly O’Dwyer, federal minister for industrial relations and employment What was the most important issue or event in industrial relations this year? It has become ...more

TVC revives default super in awards stoush

Written by Cover Note editor Eva Wiland. Federal financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer has reacted angrily to Industry Super Australia’s (ISA) latest advertising campaign, calling it a union scare campaign. At the centre of the ISA campaign is a 30-second TV commercial (TVC) which depicts the hand of a federal politician opening a hen house ...more

United Voice claims Wilson owes security guards big bucks

Written by Workforce chief journalist Gerard May. EXCLUSIVE: United Voice WA has claimed Wilson Security Pty Ltd owes hundreds of workers thousands of dollars after it wrongly placed security guards who started employment after mid-2014 onto a Work Choices enterprise agreement (EA) that did not guarantee overtime penalty rates. The union is supporting two Wilson ...more

Pokémon Go phenomenon now a workplace issue

Exclusive The Pokémon Go craze that is sweeping the world has hit Australian workplaces, with a major logistics company issuing an all-sites warning for its employees not to play the game due to risks to health and safety. Qube Logistics, which provides services covering road and rail transport and warehousing, advised staff in a national ...more

SA set to broaden employment tribunal’s jurisdiction

Written by Workers Compensation Report editor Peter Angelopoulos A SA State Budget paper, tabled on July 7, has flagged the SA Employment Tribunal’s (ET) proposed targets for 2016-17 include its “jurisdictional expansion”. That would be “implemented efficiently with minimal impact on parties and the resolution of disputes during the transition”, the paper said (WCR 09/06/15, 16/12/14). WCR ...more

Use of automation has ‘profound’ impacts for Australia

Australia is the biggest automation user in the world, a leading robotics engineer has argued. But while such automation is having enormous productivity benefits it is also threatening to increase income inequality and “decimate” regional areas. University of Sydney mechatronic engineering Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte spoke to the ALERA conference on Friday (May 27) to point ...more

FWO targets individual workers over unlawful industrial action

Written by Workforce editor David Marin-Guzman Exclusive In what has been described as a “game-changing” move, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is seeking penalties and compensation orders against seven shipping crew members over their 20-day sit-in last year after they discovered they were going to be made redundant. It is the first time the regulator ...more

Lack of compulsory powers leads to 7-Eleven-like non-compliance: FWO

Written by Workforce editor David Marin-Guzman The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) says lack of compulsory interview powers has hampered its ability to obtain evidence that 7-Eleven head office was “involved” in widespread underpayments. That was despite findings the franchisor had an unusually high degree of control over its franchisees and was on notice about underpayments ...more

Govt makes ‘future of work’ IR battleground for election

The Federal Government is framing its workplace relations election policy around the “future of work”, declaring the current system is “stuck in the past” and has not kept up with fundamentally different ways of doing business as represented by disruptors such as Uber and Airtasker. However, it has stressed that any reforms “cannot compromise” Australia’s ...more

Thinking outside the box: Ann Sherry

In conversation with Professor Niki Ellis In December last year I came before the last meeting of Safe Work Australia (SWA) chaired by Ann Sherry who was completing her term in that office. Dressed in a pinkish pant suit she left an indelible impression on me as she zeroed in on the weaknesses in my ...more

Female war hero sacked after ‘challenging’ male co-workers

Written by Workforce chief journalist Gerard May. The Fair Work Commission has found a decorated war veteran and the first female Black Hawk pilot was unfairly dismissed from her private sector job with the cmn forming “a strong impression” her gender was a “significant factor” in her boss looking for “dirt” on her – while ...more

Defence opens door to climate

Written by Carbon Extra editor Deborah Nesbitt In a step away from the defence department’s green paper, its white paper released yesterday (February 25) accepted climate change posed “major challenges”, at least for Australia’s immediate region (CE 30/10/15). Climate change would “exacerbate the challenges of population growth and environmental degradation, and will contribute to food ...more