In a significant blow to ABCC attempts to rein in the behaviour of union officials by holding them personally liable for breach fines, the Federal Court has today ruled that an offender's past record must be taken into account before imposing such conditions.
The FWC has confirmed the right of employers in safety-critical industries to dismiss workers whose out-of-hours conduct impairs the safe performance of their duties, in the case of a flight attendant who called in sick during a layover after being hospitalised with a blood-alcohol reading of .205.
A leading workplace academic has called on legislators to consider a UK parliamentary inquiry's recommendation to impose a legal obligation to protect workers from sexual harassment, with breaches resulting in "substantial financial penalties".
An FWC full bench has quashed a finding that BHP Coal should have kept paying or considered alternative duties for a mineworker while his driving licence was suspended, saying it would be tantamount to requiring an employer to excuse from duties but pay workers who turned up drunk.
The ACTU's triennial Congress has endorsed a proposal for state and federal governments to enact industrial manslaughter laws, after maritime union leader Chris Cain told delegates that employers who recklessly kill workers should face $20 million fines and 20 years behind bars.
In a significant decision on out-of-hours conduct, the FWC has ruled that ALDI justifiably dismissed a storeperson for throwing a full beer glass over the heads of colleagues at an official company Christmas party.
Unions will next week consider pushing for stronger remedies for unfair dismissal by adopting measures such as removing the $73,000 compensation limit, enabling employees to pursue more than their lost income and empowering them to seek penalties against employers.
The FWC has praised Australia Post subsidiary Startrack Express for its flawless process in dismissing an employee who "crossed a line" from tolerable crudity to unacceptable racism in his remarks to colleagues.