By Adam Foster
This year has seen many changes to the landscape of workplaces across Australia.
Looking back, we can see that significant changes have either happened, or are on the way.
A few noteworthy developments include the well-publicised changes to penalty rates for the retail and hospitality industries. Those changes will now come into effect over the course of a few years commencing from 2018, after the Federal Court threw out an appeal by the trade union movement.
Another development that will affect employers and employees alike in 2018 and onwards, is the likely introduction of domestic violence leave. At this point in time the Fair Work Commission has accepted that it should be introduced, however the question is whether it should be in the Awards as paid or unpaid leave.
A further development that will likely affect employers and employees is the casual conversion under the modern award and the opportunity to request permanent work. This is a significant change to be introduced across many awards to grant employees more certainty when they have worked for one employer for a continuous period (of no less than one year) with the same amount of frequency. Employers should be on alert to such requests because failure to agree to permanent work may give rise to a general protection claim.
In summary, the industrial landscape is continuously changing and there is a lot on the workplace horizon to keep an eye out for in the new year.
For more information on changes to your workplace and compliance, go to www.youremploymentlawyer.com.au or contact Adam Foster at Lewis Holdway Lawyers, Head of Workplace Relations, on (03) 9629 9629.