Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety Law


Quarterly Insights | Autumn 2018

Download Full Document AUTUMN 2018

In this Quarterly Insights issue we consider a diverse range of recent changes relating to the below topics. To read the full issue please click the download button.

  • Workplace surveillance
  • Data breaches and privacy
  • Legal representation
  • 457 visas
  • Electronic payroll reporting

The new surveillance laws - is your workplace compliant? 

by Sarah Lithgow

Snapshot - The Surveillance Devices Act 2016 (SA) commenced operation on 18 December 2017, bringing South Australia in line with similar legislation in New South

Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The changes are significant, and contraventions are potentially punishable by fines or even jail. It is critical that employers ensure their policies, procedures, practices and contracts comply with the new laws.

A shift in personal deterrence? Union official held to be personally responsible for fines

By Sarah Lithgow

Snapshot - The High Court has recently confirmed that courts may make orders that fines are paid personally by union officials (and not paid indirectly by their union).

This could have a significant impact on the behaviour of union officials, particularly given the likely deterrent effect of union officials now potentially being personally responsible to pay fines (without the financial assistance of their union).

A reminder of two very recent changes - 457 visas and data breach obligations

By Michael Kay

Snapshot - A brief reminder of two new changes which have recently commenced, that have been canvassed broadly in previous alerts:

  • the new data breach (Privacy Act) obligations which commenced on 22 February 2018; and
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) Visas (known more commonly as a 457 Visa) have now been replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS Visa).

Emerging from the shadows? – Can employers obtain “shadow” legal advice during a dispute?

By Ellen Gordon

Snapshot - Following the controversial Full Bench decision of Fitzgerald v Woolworths Limited2 (Fitzgerald), the Fair Work Commission has further clarified in Dr Neil

Stringfellow v Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation T/A CSIRO3 that although an employer requires the permission of the Commission to be represented by an external solicitor at a proceeding, this does not limit the ability of an employer to obtain legal advice in relation to the proceedings generally.

Do it once and do it correctly – the increasing need to consider briefing a specialist employment solicitor to undertake complex investigations

By Michael Kay

Snapshot - The need for us to perform complex investigations on behalf of clients, particularly where allegations of serious harassment, bullying, or potential criminal behaviour are involved, are becoming more common. This is an increasingly sensible and proactive option which clients should consider.

Just another manic pay-day? Are you ready for “Single Touch Payroll”?

By Michael Kay

From 1 July 2018 employers with more than 20 employees must comply with the Australian Tax Office’s requirements relating to live reporting of payroll, known as “Single Touch Payroll” (STP).


The content of this newsletter is for general information purposes only and should in no way be treated as formal legal advice.