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Work Christmas parties are a chance for employees to let their hair down, celebrate their achievements from the past working year, and it can also be a great chance for your employees to bond. However, although the work Christmas party can be fun, it can also be fraught with dangers.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash recently launched the new Migrant Worker Taskforce, saying that the taskforce would bolster the Government’s efforts to crack down on employers seeking to take advantage of migrant workers and deliver on its pre-election commitment to better protections for all workers.
Reports for the 2015/16 reporting period under the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) legislation are due between 1 April 2016 and 31 May 2016. For the 2015/2016 reporting period, several changes have been made to the reporting requirements. The changes to the reports due in 2016 affect the workplace profile and the reporting questionnaire.
Employee awareness of the laws that protect them in the workplace has increased exponentially in recent years, meaning employers are being faced with more claims, with greater penalties.
The Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) applies to all employers and employees as well as prospective employees – permanent or casual. The Act includes discrimination on the basis of a ‘criminal record’ where an employee is dismissed from employment or denied certain opportunities due to a criminal record. Further, a job applicant may be discriminated against through being denied the job because of their criminal record.
Disgruntled dismissed employees are increasingly lodging General Protections (GP) applications instead of Unfair Dismissal actions. Unlike unfair dismissal claims, GP actions don’t require employees to meet a number of required hurdles before they can be lodged. GP actions don’t even necessarily require termination of employment, only ‘less favourable treatment’ by the employer towards the employee, prospective employee or even a contractor
These changes entail additional compliance requirements for large businesses to better support gender equality and diversity in the workplace. This is addressed by the introduction of gender equality indicators (GEIs).
The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, managed by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, now in place.
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