Harmers Workplace Lawyers
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News Alerts
Landmark decisions under the WHS Laws - meaning of ‘officer’ explained and record $1.1 million fine imposed
The first decision explaining the meaning of an “officer” under the harmonised Work Health and Safety laws has been recently delivered in the ACT Industrial Magistrates Court. The harmonised
WHS Laws have applied across Australia since 2012, with the exception of Victoria and Western Australia. The recent decision sheds much needed light on the new obligation for officers to exercise
due diligence.
Please click here to download the news alert.

Termination of employment by text message: Dismissal in the Digital Age
Thursday 6 August 2015
The decision by Hutchison Ports to retrench 97 workers has generated substantial media interest and publicity. The controversy seems to surround not so much the retrenchment of staff itself, but the manner in which the news was delivered to the employees by Hutchison Ports – in the form of a text message and email. In this alert, Harmers outlines the risks for employers of using electronic media to terminate staff as well as best practice recommendations for serving a notice of termination.
Please click here to download the news alert.

What the Productivity Commission Workplace Relations Framework - Draft Report Means for Employers
4 August 2015
In December 2014, the Federal Government commissioned an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into the operation of the Fair Work laws. The Productivity Commission was tasked with assessing the performance of the workplace relations framework, focusing on key social and economic indicators important to the well-being, productivity and competitiveness of Australia and its people.
The Productivity Commission released their Workplace Relations Framework - Draft report on 4 August, 2015.
Please click here to download the news alert.

Media Statement by Harmers Workplace Lawyers re: Richardson v Oracle Corporation Pty Ltd
15 July 2014
Ms. Rebecca Richardson today won the appeal in her sexual harassment case against Oracle Corporation Australia. Her damages were increased seven fold from the first decision, and she was awarded costs of the appeal. This is a very significant legal victory, not only for Ms. Richardson, who has now been vindicated by not letting this injustice rest, but for how the law should be applied in this important area of legal rights for employees.
Please click here to download the news alert.

L&E Global’s First Annual Global Handbook : Employees vs Independent Contractors
28 May 2014
Harmers Workplace Lawyers is delighted to provide you with the first annual L&E Global handbook on Employees vs Independent Contractors. This comprehensive publication includes analysis on the difference between a contractor and an employee and the potential re-characterisation of a contractor as an employee. Contributions have been provided from 15 L&E Global country member firms. It is a valuable resource for all HR professionals.
Please click here to download the publication.

Ashby / Harmers Statements: "Ashby wins appeal" - Adverse findings by the judge made against Michael Harmer "Ought not to have been made"
27 February 2014
James Ashby said today:
“I am extremely pleased that the Full Court has decided to reject and overturn Justice Rares’ decision in my case. I would really like to thank Michael Harmer and all my legal team. They have acted with the utmost professionalism and care throughout this whole ordeal. I have always believed the original court decision was wrong, unjust and not based on the facts. We will now continue with our legal fight to obtain justice for my original claim against Mr. Slipper. This has been a long and tortuous journey, but I am determined not to give up until my claim has been vindicated.”
Michael Harmer said today:
“We are extremely pleased that the Full Court has decided to overturn Justice Rares’ decision. Also it is gratifying that the court found that I was treated unfairly and that the adverse findings made about me “ought not to have been made.”  I was not granted my appeal, on technical grounds, essentially because I was not a party to the original case.  It has been an honour to support James Ashby throughout this matter and we will continue to support James as it is extremely important that he ultimately receives justice in his case.
James Ashby is a brave whistle blower who, against the full force of the former Federal Government, has pursued his legal rights. It is also important that legal firms support  whistle blowers who cannot otherwise afford to access justice in our court system. Justice in this country should not be affordable only to the wealthy.”
This decision means that the original trial of the sexual harassment allegations made by James Ashby will now proceed. That substantive hearing was never heard due to the ‘abuse of process’ decision, which has now been overturned.
James and Michael are not available for interview at this time.
Media Contact
Anthony McClellan (AMC Media)
Mob: 0433 122 360
E: anthonymcc@gmail.com
T: antmac9

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