- Of the 17,964 unfair dismissal claims lodged, 90% were “settled” by the employer paying the former employee “go away money”.
- Of the 265 application that went to arbitration, the FWC decided:
- 130 in favour of the employer.
- 135 in favour of the employee.
- 18 (only) granted reinstatement and lost wages. The rest were awarded monetary amounts.
Unfair Dismissal Application 1997 to 2016 (including General Protections)
Ring me for advice BEFORE dismissing an employee.
This is an interesting part of the Fair Work Act 2009, which places the onus on the employer to provie that they did nothing wrong. This is called “reverse onus of proof”. “Employee representatives are finding this a popular revenue stream from unsuspecting employers.
Bullying, is defined as
“An individual or a group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards the worker, or a group of workers of which the worker is a member, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety”.
Remember the following statistics only apply to “General Protections” and “Stop Bullying Orders”
Stop-Bullying applications outcomes:
Not much in this for the “No-win, No-fee” brigade. So, numbers, whilst rising steadily to 705 applications:
- 462 applications were withdrawn,
- 191 were resolved “during the course of proceeding”, and
- 52 were finalised by decision.
If you are unhappy with a decision of the FWC, good luck with appealing the decision, as is almost 4 out of 5 cases are refused permission to appeal.
Therefore, if you fight a case in the FWC, go in with all guns blazing at the conciliation stage, and increase this pressure at the arbitration stage.
Permission to appeal statistics
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
There were 1,139 “employment related” claims for 2015/2016.
Claims 1999 to 2015
Employees alleged that employers broke the law because they discriminated against the employee (or potential employee) on account of their:
|Authorising and assisting|
|Discriminatory info. request|
|Lawful sexual activity||14||3||1|
|Political belief or activity||9||2||3|
|Religious belief or activity||21||39||22|
- WorkSafe has again been working hard to keep us all safe through enforcement, stating:
“WorkSafe’s role in enforcing OHS and return to work legislation is important in driving safety improvements across the state”.
- In 2015/16, WorkSafe completed 110 prosecutions.
- Imposed fines of $5,241,000.
- Visited 46,259 workplaces.
- Entered into four enforceable undertakings.
|Annual workplace visits||41,566||40,711||46,259|
|Prosecution success rate||88%||93%||94%|
|Investigations proceeding to prosecution charges within 12 months||75%||83%||91%|
|Completed investigations proceeding to legal review outcome||67%||66%||71%|
- Unfortunately, 31 workers lost their lives (11 in agriculture and eight in construction) – up from 20 in the previous year.
For some reason the WorkSafe Annual report does not break-down the total claims by injury/illness.
There were 26,286 claims last year.
WorkSafe is taking an active role in addressing:
- Workplace violence, especially the increasing risks faced by front line workers across the state. It is working in partnership across Government, with healthcare providers and with Victorian workplaces. The focus is to address the underlying issues, while educating employers and workers on how to recognise the risks in order to prevent injury and harm.
- Promotion of positive mental health, reduce workplace risks through targeted prevention activities and provide support and assistance for those affected by stress disorders. Highlights include:
- An updated stress website and guidance material.
- Increased visits in the education sector.
- The Mental Wellbeing Collaboration Resource Centre is an innovative partnership with Superfriend and VicHealth that raises awareness of the role that leaders play in promoting positive mental health in the workplace.
- The bullying prevention alliance is a partnership with the Bully Zero Australia Foundation and Brodie’s Law Foundation that delivered a series of engaging and emotive education and information sessions to younger workers.
- The dangers associated with asbestos are well established and will remain a high priority. We continue to work with others to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos in the community. This year, WorkSafe has worked on increasing awareness of safe work practices when removing or disturbing materials containing asbestos and on increasing awareness of in situ asbestos contained in older buildings.
Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:
- General HR and IR advisory service.
- Fair Work Commission representation (eg unfair dismissals, adverse actions, etc.).
- Workplace investigations and mediations.
- Policies and procedures.
- Discipline & Termination.
- People Audits (are you at risk of prosecution?).
- Enterprise Agreements, Contracts of Employment, Individual Flexibility Agreements.
- On-site HR services.
Contact Greg on 0438 906 050 or mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.