Recent news

Latest items of recent news relevant to Australia as reported in our fortnightly newswire ‘Dernières nouvelles’.

Australia: Worker classification

Two high court cases have re-established the importance of what is written into the contracts of independent contractors and how much detailed control is exercised over a worker …

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Australia: Qantas to cancel international flight attendants agreement

The national airline Qantas has filed a Fair Work Commission (FWC) application to end its enterprise agreement for international flight attendants …

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Australia: WA’s updated Safe Transition Plan from 5 February, 2022

The Western Australian (WA) border will no longer be opened up – as originally planned – on 5th February 2022 …

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Australia: Job vacancies (December 2021)

Job advertisements continue to run in all States and Territories at well above pre-covid levels …

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Australia: COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme

It is still too early to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine claims scheme (VCS) that was established in September 2021 …

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Australia: Class action launched against McDonald’s over 10-minute paid breaks

Class action against McDonald’s over provision of rest breaks.

The company is being hit with the action following a Federal Court decision last August over a similar claim. Under McDonald’s Enterprise Agreement, a 10-minute break must be given within shifts lasting more than 4.5 hours and two 10-minute breaks if the shifts are 9 or more hours. This particular claim concerns lost breaks, in spite of the company being apparently aware of an employee’s alleged medical condition – pulmonary sclerosis (which happens to be so rare and obscure the company would have found it difficult to evaluate it). Now the no win, no fee law firm that specializes in such actions is calling on other McDonald’s employees to join the pursuit.

Australia: No extra Christmas Day pay for SA workers

A proposed amendment to the Holidays Act 1910 has lapsed in the South Australian Parliament …

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Australia: Employers want end to rules requiring port jobs to go to ‘family and friends’ of union members

Pre-entry closed shops in the ports sector are reducing competition in the labour market …

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Australia: NT Boxing Day declared public holiday

Northern Territories is changing the practice of employing essential workers this Christmas …

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Australia: WA industrial relations amendment Bill progresses

The Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 has now passed through Western Australia’s Legislative Assembly …

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Australia: Religious discrimination bill introduced to parliament

A Religious Discrimination Bill is now before the Canberra Parliament but it remains uncertain what shape it will finally take …

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Australia: Public support for phasing out the sale of cigarettes

Employers that currently struggle to apply a workplace smoking ban may look with envy at Australia’s likely solution to this highly unhealthy habit …

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Australia: Move to make Christmas Day a public holiday in SA (2021)

A disagreement in South Australia’s lower house of Parliament is likely to mean that those working on Christmas day this year will not be paid “penalty” (premium) rates …

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Australia: Can an employee refuse to provide a urine sample?

Is it lawful for an employer to insist on a urine sample when undertaking workplace drug and alcohol screening? Back in 2012, “Fair Work Australia” determined, on appeal, in respect to the collective agreement for Endeavour Energy Enterprise that an employer had no right to insist on the use of urine testing over that via an oral swab, even though the latter method was less reliable at the time …

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Australia: Unemployment and participation (September 2021)

Is the great resignation possibly now affecting the Australian labour force? In the September 2021, a further 129,100 people left the active labour force, following a loss of 168,100 recorded in August 2021 …

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