Legal Updates

Understanding workplace laws during COVID-19 pandemic is critical to avoid future legal headaches

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates globally, businesses are forced to make tough choices regarding staffing, scaling back operations or shutting down due to government orders. Workplace laws governing employer’s obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic are largely unprecedented and changing rapidly. Whether employers can make decisions such as standing down employees without pay is fact dependent…

View Update

The King and Li-ability as an “Officer” of a Company

In March 2020, the High Court unanimously overturned a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland (Court of Appeal) which held that an individual who acted as “the overall boss” and assumed “overall responsibility” of a group of companies was not an “officer” of a company for the purposes of…

View Update

HO HO HO with NO NO NO claims

As the holidays approach, we take this opportunity to remind employers to familiarise themselves with their workplace policies and to be mindful of their obligations.  Employers should be aware that an employee’s conduct can extend beyond the traditional workplace to the Christmas show and social media activity. We recommend that employers implement the following: Remind…

View Update

Valid Signing of Legal Documents – Electronic Signatures

In this age of electronic communications and documents, we are often asked to advise on how a legal document can be signed validly. There have been a series of cases involving Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, which has sought to recover loans to investors in failed Great Southern Group investment schemes.  One of these cases is…

View Update

Problems facing unlicensed builders and suing in quantum meruit

The 2018 Adelaide Magistrates’ Court decision of Marisha Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Daw [2018] SAMC 12 (Daw) (upheld on appeal to the Supreme Court: Marisha Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Daw [2019] SASC 77) illustrates the importance of builders being appropriately licenced under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA) (BWCA), and…

View Update

Dismissing an Employee by Text is not on!

Delivering a DCM (Don’t Come Monday) message to an employee by text message is poor form and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has confirmed that “basic human dignity” requires that a dismissal be conveyed personally. In Thai v Email Ventilation Pty Ltd [2019] FWC4116, an employee who was terminated by text message was found to…

View Update

You don’t have to be a Masterchef to slip up!

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) recently announced that celebrity Chef George Calombaris’ hospitality empire ‘MAdE Establishment Group’ would backpay $7.8 million in wages and superannuation, plus a $200,000 “contrition payment”.  The announcement followed an investigation into underpayment of wages affecting approximately 500 employees over 6 years across the restaurant chain. Calombaris was a director of…

View Update