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 MEAA has called for the ACCC to block the proposed merger of the Nine Network with Fairfax Media on public interest grounds, while demanding the retention of employees' terms and conditions as the new entity seeks $50 million in savings.
The FWC will next week respond to reports urging it to speed up and reduce the cost to employers of unfair dismissal and adverse action claims, with a new small business division being held out as a chance to weed out "frequent flyers" pursuing applications of dubious merit.
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.
Union calls for a return to industry-wide bargaining to boost workers' earnings have won the backing of the OECD, which says in its annual global employment report that negotiations across industry sectors can lead to "lower wage inequality".