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ADA HR Advisory Service
state award and SMW wage case during June (the exact date is
unknown as it varies from year to year).
Employers covered by the WA system will have to ensure they also
increase their employees' wages so that they do not fall below the
increased award rates or increased SMW.
Members will be advised of the changes in a July Stop Press article
once the FWC and WAIRC have handed down their respective wage
reviews. The ADA HR Advisory Service will provide the new award
wages guide for members to download from the Human Resources
Hub on the ADA website by 1 July 2016. It is also noted that
superannuation will not increase this year and will remain at 9.5%.
LONG TERM ILLNESS OR INJURIES
Increasingly, employers and employees are at loggerheads when
it comes to employees being absent due to long-term illness or
injuries. Recently, the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) was found
by the FWC to have unfairly dismissed an employee for failing to
give the MVRC in depth information about the employee's medical
condition. The employee had been undergoing treatment for cancer
and thus taken several weeks off work on personal (sick) carers leave
and long-service leave. On returning to work MVRC directed the
employee to provide them with information on the length of time
in hospital, which hospital; what condition he was being treated
for and details of the treating doctor. More critically, was that MVRC
directed the employee to give them permission to speak with his
treating doctor. The employee denied MVRC's repeated requests for
the information and permission to speak with his doctor. Eventually,
MVRC gave him an ultimatum to comply with their directions or face
termination. The employee did not respond to the ultimatum and
was consequentially dismissed. The FWC found that the termination
was harsh, unjust and unreasonable because MVRC did not have
the right to obtain as much information as it sought, nor did it have
permission to speak with the employee's doctor which was in fact
The lesson for employers is that when they require information from
an employee about the reasons for their absence on personal (sick)
carers leave, all that is required (and lawfully obtainable) is evidence
from a treating doctor that the employee was unfit for work and
when or if they can be expected to return to work.
The lesson for employees is that when they are absent from work
on personal (sick) carers leave, they should try to be as forthcoming
as possible with their employer in providing the information their
employer needs to minimise disruptions to business operations. This
means providing their employer with medical evidence from their
doctor demonstrating they were unfit for work over the period of
their absence on leave and while on leave, an estimation of when
they believe they will be able to return to work based on their
In the unfortunate event employees receive performance counselling
from their employer, or are embroiled in a heated argument with
their employer, simply walking out and taking a period of personal
(sick) carers leave is not recommended. Employees are likely to
exacerbate the tension and are merely prolonging any further action
their employer was intending to take if they were not absent, e.g.
performance counselling meetings. It is better for employees to try
to work with their employer to resolve issues rather than hoping a
period of leave will magically resolve them.
For more information on content contained in this article or to discuss a specific
workplace issue, contact the ADA HR Advisory Service.
Phone: 1300 ADA INC (1300 232 462) between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm AEST
Monday to Friday.
Email your enquiry to: email@example.com
Alternatively, members can access a vast array of contract templates from the
ADA online HR Portal at www.ada.org.au after login to the members' area.
'The answer could be just a phone call away'
*National System Employers are employers of all states and territories in Australia
except for employers of unincorporated businesses in Western Australia.
ADA NEWS BULLETIN | JUNE 2016 | 23
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