Month in Review | December 2021

In the News

  • The Migrant Workers Centre released a report which revealed that 65 per cent of temporary visa holders had experienced wage theft.
  • ABS data shows the unemployment rate decreased from 5.2% in October 2021 to 4.6% in November 2021.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal proceedings against Coles in the Federal Court of Australia over alleged underpayments of its staff in the amount of $115 million.

In the Courts

  • The Fair Work Commission made a decision clarifying the minimum daily engagement for casuals under the Retail Award, with the new changes applying from 6 December 2021 onward.
  • On 3 December 2021, the Fair Work Commission found that BHP’s decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations at Mt Arthur Coal Mine was not lawful or reasonable.
  • On 17 December 2021, the Fair Work Commission announced that BHP had had extensive discussions with its employees regarding the vaccination mandate since 3 December 2021 and the mandate was lawful and reasonable.
  • The Fair Work Commission awarded an engineer over $20,000 in compensation after finding that he had been unfairly dismissed. Deputy President Anderson was critical of the employer’s performance management, describing it as ‘ham-fisted’.
  • A recruiter had been fired without notice after it became apparent that she had used foul language about her manager and bullied employees. The Fair Work Commission awarded the employee $6,000 due to the employer’s failure to follow the proper dismissal process.
  • A prison guard who had been dismissed for falling asleep while on shift has been reinstated by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, who was critical of the employer’s dismissal process. The employee had fallen asleep due to a medical condition, which he had taken steps to manage as soon as he had received the diagnosis and was considered fit for work.