Month in Review | February 2022

In the News

  • The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has ordered that the NSW Nurses’ Union immediately cease strike preparations and to not take industrial action for a month. The NSW Nurses’ Union have stated that they will defy the orders.
  • Australia Post paid retention payments to one executive member and four senior managers who were being enticed by a major competitor to leave. One of the payments amounted to over $500,000. Additional payments were made to other staff for reaching performance outcomes.
  • The new Farm Worker Visa that was due to commence before Christmas last year, is now only waiting on approval by Foreign Minister Marise Payne. There is confusion whether the new visa will be capped.
  • During COVID-19, the ATO had held back using its powers to enforce superannuation payments. The ATO has now ramped up these powers as the impact of COVID-19 is decreasing. The ATO’s powers include giving directions to pay employees, penalties and jail time.

In the Courts

  • The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has held that Chapter 6 of the State IR Act includes drivers of vehicles of less than three tonnes. This has resulted in Amazon Flex drivers now being covered by the agreement. Meaning Amazon Flex drivers will now receive set pay and conditions as set by an industrial agreement.
  • A Queensland transport business has been penalised $14,000 imposed by The Federal Circuit and Family Court for requiring an employee to payback an amount roughly equal to the difference between the net JobKeeper payment he received and his usual fortnightly wages.
  • The Federal Circuit Court has held that an IT worker was unlawfully dismissed. The Court awarded compensation of $23,500, however, it has decided not to award the penalties imposed on the business and its owners to the IT worker due to his involvement in the illegal scheme of which he later complained of.