Legal Updates

Unfair contract terms for small businesses

From 12 November 2016, standard form small business contracts will be covered by the current regime for unfair contracts. Between now and then, the regulator (ACCC) expects businesses to review their standard form small business contracts to ensure that there are no unfair terms and to take action if there are. What is a small…

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Don’t get too Casual about redundancy payments – all service counts

The decision in AMWU v Donau Pty Ltd [2016] FWCFB 3075 has set a new precedent that a permanent employee’s initial service as a casual employee will count towards the calculation of their redundancy payment. By way of background, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) provides that an employee’s redundancy pay is calculated on their…

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Trade mark fee changes

IP Australia is changing trade mark fees from 10 October 2016. The good news The registration fee of $300 (payable when a mark is accepted and about to be put on the Register) will be abolished. Also to be abolished are fees for opposing a trade mark application. The bad news Fees for filing a…

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FWC supports Uber strict approach to employee’s unauthorised second job

Earlier this month, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) upheld an employer’s decision to dismiss an employee who was moonlighting as an Uber driver. In Jacob v West Australian Newspapers Ltd T/A The West Australian [2016] FWC 5382, the Applicant had worked for the Respondent since 2001 and was employed under an employment contract containing the…

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Power of Attorney – what is it and do I need one?

There may be a time in the future when someone needs to manage your financial affairs for you in the event that you are unable to.  You may suffer a stroke and lose your mental capacity or you may be travelling overseas for a period of time. No matter what the reason, it is important…

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Ignorance is bliss… unless you’re a director!

Recently, the Federal Circuit Court ordered a company director to personally pay more than $50,000 in penalties for his involvement in contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act). In Fair Work Ombudsman v Step Ahead Security Services Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 1482, the Court found that Step Ahead Security Services Pty Ltd…

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FWC throws out hurt feelings bullying claim

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently ruled that behaviour causing “feelings of discomfort” does not, alone, amount to bullying in the workplace. In Gore [2016] FWC 2559, the Applicant sought an order pursuant to section 789FF of the Fair Work Act 2009 which empowers the FWC to make any order it considers appropriate (other than…

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Trade mark renewal scam

If you or your business has trade marks (or other IP rights) registered, you may have already experienced at least one scam.  (If you don’t have your trade marks registered, you really should, for lots of reasons – please talk to us.) The scams take the form of an official-looking letter or invoice requesting payment…

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