Employment Law Update – Winter 2018

Welcome to the MST Lawyers inaugural Employment Law Update bulletin. This quartley electronic bulletin will provide our readers with information on significant developments in the areas of employment law, workplace relations and industrial relations.

If any of the topics in our bulletin raise any concerns or questions, be sure to contact the MST Employment Law team for more information.

If any of the topics in the article raise any concerns or questions, be sure to contact our Employment Law team for more information.

New In Modern Awards: Unpaid Family And Domestic Violence Leave Entitlement

Social awareness of domestic and family violence in Australia is on the rise. In light of this, the Fair Work Commission (FWC), as part of their 4 yearly modern awards review, has inserted a new leave entitlement called “Leave to deal with family and domestic violence’ into all modern awards. This award entitlement came into effect 1 August 2018.

When Is A Casual Employee Really A Casual?

The Federal Court has confirmed that employers seeking to avoid paying employees entitlements cannot simply rely on classifying workers as casuals. This is particularly true where the employee works set, inflexible hours and there is a degree of certainty about their ongoing work.

In the recent appeal case of WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 (WorkPac), the Federal Court decided that a fly-in fly-out casual dump-truck operator was, by law, a full time employee notwithstanding the casual agreement struck between the employer and worker.


On 1 July 2018, new Ipso Facto provisions introduced into the Corporations Act 2001(Cth)(The Act) by the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No 2) Act 2017 (Cth) commenced as part of the Federal Government’s insolvency innovation reform packages. The new provisions have altered the contractual rights of parties against insolvent counterparties by imposing a stay on the enforcement of Ipso Facto clauses, preventing the termination of a contract upon the occurrence of certain insolvency events. The new provisions apply to nearly all contracts, agreements and arrangements entered into on or after 1 July 2018. However, some contracts and contractual rights are excluded from the operation of the provisions pursuant to statutory instruments.

Given the infancy of the new regime, many companies are yet to fully grasp the changes or the implications for their businesses and what may be required to protect their commercial interests appropriately. The nature of the changes may alter the way you do business with your customers or contract with your clients, so it is important that you understand both the changes and the measures required to mitigate the potential risks to you and your business.