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  • 16-Nov-2022 14:46 | Deleted user

    End-of-Year Work Functions

    For most employees, end-of-year work functions represent an opportunity to catch up with their colleagues and reflect on the past working year. The relaxed atmosphere at these functions, which are typically held away from the office or workplace, may lead employees to forget they are at a work function. The availability of alcohol at these functions can further cause employees to engage in unprofessional or otherwise undesirable behaviours.

    The question of whether an employer can discipline an employee for conduct occurring outside of ordinary working hours is one which arises often in the context of end-of-year work functions. Following a series of cases relating to dismissals for out-of-hours misconduct, it is now generally accepted that an employee may face disciplinary action for such conduct where there is a relevant connection between the conduct and the employment relationship.

    End-of-year work functions are usually considered to have a sufficient connection to an employee’s employment, particularly if an employer has organised the function or has encouraged employees’ attendance at the function.

    What is Sexual Harassment?

    Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is unlawful in the workplace and other areas of public life. Sexual harassment involves unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or a request for sexual favours. In order for such conduct to be unlawful, it is necessary to demonstrate that a reasonable person would have anticipated that the conduct would have made the victim feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

    Additionally, under work health and safety legislation, employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their employees, including by protecting their employees from sexual harassment. This duty is not limited to the employer’s workplace, and extends to any location or situation relating to work including end-of-year work functions.

    In certain circumstances, an employer may be found to be vicariously liable for the sexual harassment engaged in by its employees – particularly if the employer ignored or failed to take steps to prevent the sexual harassment from occurring.

    The Further Respect@Work Bill

    In late September 2022, the Federal Government introduced a further Respect@Work bill in an attempt to provide greater protections against workplace sexual harassment. This further Respect@Work bill follows an earlier bill passed in 2021 in response to the Respect@Work Report released by the Australian Human Rights Commission in March 2020.

    If passed, the further Respect@Work bill will implement a further 7 of the 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work Report, including:

    • by imposing a positive duty on employers to take "reasonable and proportionate" measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, as far as possible – including in relation to conduct engaged in by third parties such as customers or clients of the employer;
    • by prohibiting conduct that subjects another person to a workplace environment that is hostile on the ground of sex; and
    • by lowering the threshold of harassment on the grounds of sex (currently, the threshold for harassment on the grounds of sex is “unwelcome conduct of a seriously demeaning nature” - the bill proposes to remove the word “seriously” from that definition).

    Recommended Actions

    To ensure compliance with the further changes and stricter duties arising from the further Respect@Work bill (as a pro-active measure and for good corporate governance), employers should update all relevant policies, procedures and online training modules, and ensure that their employees understand what sexual harassment is and that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace.

    In the context of upcoming end-of-year work functions, employers should also consider:

    • managing employees’ consumption of alcohol by limiting the types and quantity of alcohol available (i.e. by only making wine or light-strength beer available);
    • ensuring that a senior member of management remains present (and sober) during the function, who can monitor employees’ behaviour and intervene where sexual harassment and other unacceptable conduct occurs or is likely to occur;
    • ensuring employees do not bring alcohol from home or illicit drugs to the function;
    • reminding employees that the function is work-related and that employees are expected to demonstrate the same standards of behaviour that apply during ordinary working hours;
    • clearly communicating when the function will conclude;
    • ensuring that employees either leave the venue at the end of the function, or are made aware that their continued presence at the venue after the function is unrelated to their employment; and
    • reminding employees prior to the function that sexual harassment is unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including the termination of employment.

    If incidents do occur during an end-of-year work function, employers MUST promptly investigate the incident and take remedial and/or disciplinary action (after due process) where appropriate as soon as possible.

    If the termination of an employee’s employment is being considered, employers should first obtain professional legal advice to ensure that the termination process is procedurally fair and that the decision to terminate can be objectively justified (to help protect against unfair dismissal claims).

    Questions/Assistance

    If you have any questions in respect of the above or would like any other employment related assistance, please contact the Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team.

    Stewart Gough

    Principal 

    T: (02) 9806 7483

    M: 0458 586 444

    E: stewartg@matthewsfolbigg.com.au

    Peter Doughman

    Senior Associate

    T: (02) 9806 7412

    M: 0404 020 409

    E: peterd@matthewsfolbigg.com.au



    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation


  • 16-Nov-2022 14:19 | Deleted user

    Spend more time relaxing this summer at The William Inglis Hotel.

    From now until 28 February 2023¹, you can book their Couples Summer Staycation Package and enjoy a memorable holiday not too far from home.

    Your couples stay includes:

    • One night in a deluxe Superior Room² suitable for 2 adults
    • A romantic picnic in the garden, cocktails by the pool or dinner under the stars
    • Your choice of dinner³ and a cocktail from their 5-star The Newmarket Room restaurant menu
    • A cosy breakfast in bed or at The Newmarket Room restaurant
    • And complimentary late checkout until 1pm for those lazy mornings

    All for just $389.00 per night from Sunday to Thursday, and $459.00 from Friday to Saturday.

    Call (02) 8324 3460 today to book your summer getaway!

          

    T&C’s: 7 days advance booking + 7 days prepayment required.

    ¹ Blackout dates apply

    ² Additional cost for room upgrade

    ³ Excludes: Grill selections; Dessert; Starters; Sides; Cheese Platters


  • 15-Nov-2022 09:10 | Deleted user

    FUNDING AVAILABLE WHEN YOU ENROL NOW!

    The bar on leadership has been raised. It is now critical that you have true leaders at ALL levels in your business, not just in the most senior positions. Leaders who are forward-focused, actively seek new ideas and know how to inspire their team to deliver exceptional results.

    Offered by Upskilled (RTO No 40374) and presented by Diana Tapp, the Nationally Accredited course BSB50420 - Diploma of Leadership & Management has been developed to achieve true leadership capability, in consultation with industry experts.

    With a six-month program of live workshops, real-life case studies plus 1:1 coaching, we ensure the knowledge people gain is practical and highly applicable. Empower your managers with valuable skills, tools, techniques, and insights they can implement into your workplace straight away.

    Places are filling up quickly! Apply by Friday 2 December to secure your place and the funding for upcoming courses starting on 8th March and 18th May, 2023. Call 1300 085 248 or email info@worldclassteams.com.au

    DISCOVER HOW TO:

    • Become a world class leader
    • Build a cohesive, high-performing team
    • Inspire & motivate people to deliver exceptional results
    • Adapt your leadership style to bring out the best in each person
    • Demonstrate exceptional EQ in every situation
    • Increase your effectiveness and productivity
    • Be future focused & agile
    • Communicate effectively in all situations, including conflict
    • Initiate transformation and change
    • Influence people at all levels of your organisation

    PROGRAM INVESTMENT

    • FULL PRICE: BSB50420 - Diploma of Leadership & Management: $7,730
    • LESS: NSW Government Subsidy: $4,880*
    • YOUR INVESTMENT: $2,850 (payment plans available)

    *This training is subsidised by the NSW Government. Eligibility criteria apply.

    WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?

    • CLICK HERE to download a BSB50420 - Diploma of Leadership & Management course guide
    • To discuss enrolment or ask further questions about BSB50420 - Diploma of Leadership & Management, call World Class Teams on 1300 085 248 or email info@worldclassteams.com.au
  • 14-Nov-2022 12:19 | Deleted user

    The world of work has changed. And so has the wants and expectations of our workers.

    51% of businesses have had to pay more in wages to attract the right candidate in the past 12 months. How can small businesses compete on increased wage growth? By upskilling their workforce offering:

    • Professional and Career Development
    • Enhanced in demand skills
    • Higher job satisfaction
    • Flexibility

    Would it surprise you to know that Millennials now make up the largest age demographic in the workforce? On average a Millennial only stays in a job role for 18-24 months. They are not afraid to take risks and completely change the industry they are in. How did they become so comfortable with ‘change’? By realising that skills are transferable.

    Core skills such as:

    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Critical Thinking
    • Cyber Security Awareness

    These skills once learnt can be transferred across a range of industries and roles with ease. So, what does this shifting workforce mean for employers? With change comes opportunity, that you can leverage to stack the deck in your favour and build a fresh resilient workforce. A dynamic culture based on mentorship, flexibility and learning is what workers are looking for. Become a leader of the upskill movement.

    The world of work has changed, have you?

    My Skills Australia RTO#91037 has its final student intake for 2022 starting 28th Nov:

    • Digital Marketing
    • Web Development
    • Systems Admin Support
    • Work Health and Safety
    • Forklift Licence

    For course information email: hello@myskillsaustralia.edu.au


  • 14-Nov-2022 11:29 | Deleted user

    Matthews Folbigg Lawyers have been providing legal assistance to companies and private clients in western Sydney and across Australia for over 60 years. Their office is conveniently located in the heart of Parramatta and they are one of the largest law firms outside of the Sydney CBD.

    Matthews Folbigg are always keen to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen their already strong commercial law team and they are delighted to announce through The Connection's e-News, that Geeti Chawla has joined the commercial law team at Matthews Folbigg as a Senior Commercial Lawyer.

    Geeti is an experienced commercial lawyer who understands when a client needs a lawyer to take control and solve complex commercial and legal problems, but is equally comfortable working with clients to provide legal reassurance that they are on the right track.

    Geeti has a focus on complex commercial contracts and deeds as well as compliance and corporate governance. Both are of critical importance to successful companies irrespective of the industry in which they compete.

    Geeti completed a double degree of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at Macquarie University. Her ability to understand commercial problems and find legal solutions sets Geeti apart, and offers clients the opportunity to work alongside a lawyer who will help them to achieve their goals.

    Geeti has led a team of commercial and corporate lawyers as head of a commercial practice and understands the demands of SMEs, national and multinational corporations. Geeti has worked on a diverse range of commercial transactions, corporate and governance issues, business restructuring issues.

    Geeti believes that understanding client needs and goals should drive the provision of practical and effective legal advice. She is passionate about working with clients to help them achieve those goals.

    Geeti can be contacted on:

    P: 9635 7427

    E: GeetiC@matthewsfolbigg.com.au


  • 14-Nov-2022 10:56 | Deleted user

    J&J Metro Air Conditioning are always looking to advance and offer their customers expertise and skills to ensure they exceed expectations, no matter the size of the project.

    They continue to provide a complete turn-key solution to your heating-ventilation-air conditioning needs from the initial concepts and engineering designs through to sourcing equipment, manufacturing parts, installation, servicing and preventative maintenance programs.

    As a Bronze Member of the Fire Protection Association Australia, J&J Metro are pleased to announce that they now also offer Mechanical Fire Services including:

    • Certification of installation for:

    o Fire Dampers

    o Smoke Dampers

    o Mechanical Handling Systems

    o Stair Pressurisation Systems

    o Smoke Management Systems

    • Repairs and rectification for Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS)

    Be sure to get in touch for more on this and other services they offer, by calling 1300 883 153 or visiting jjmetroairconditioning.com.au

    J&J Metro - Proudly doing whatever it takes for over 28 years!

              

  • 09-Nov-2022 10:48 | Deleted user

    By Sue Lawrence, President, NWBC

    The North West Business Chamber (NWBC) continues to advocate for investment in the North West Growth Area.

    The area is at the pinnacle of change and resourced correctly offers benefits too big to ignore.

    During Small Business Month the NWBC would like to take the opportunity to prepare their members and the businesses of the wider community with a glimpse of the future posibilities and pitfalls.

    On Friday 25 November 2022 they are hosting a business networking lunch “Foundation Stone – a glimpse into the future of Sydney’s North West”.

    The centrepiece of the event will be a presentation by research-based futurist and social researcher Mark McCrindle.

    Mark has an international following and is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends, he will be focusing his presentation on the future of the North West Growth area.

    This not to be missed event is essential for any business or individual operating in Sydney's North West.

    Registration to this free catered event is essential and can be done by clicking here.



  • 02-Nov-2022 12:20 | Deleted user

    Mid-tier accounting firm, William Buck has accelerated its growth in Western Sydney through a strategic merger with Champion’s Business Growth Advisers. The merger creates the largest SME focused accounting and advisory firm in the region.

    Since William Buck opened its offices in Parramatta, Western Sydney has seen significant change. It’s now home to almost 230,000 SMEs and represents 25% of NSW’s Gross State Product. The merger, effective from 1 November 2022, will consolidate William Buck’s position as the ‘go to‘ advisor for these SMEs.

    William Buck NSW Managing Director Nick Hatzistergos says that building the firm’s service quality and capabilities in Western Sydney was a key pillar of the firm’s strategic plan.

    “Western Sydney plays a vital role in all sectors of the economy. This merger represents our long-term strategy of delivering ‘a whole of firm’ service to the West including expanded tax and wealth advisory services.

    We’ve known Champion’s for a long time, and they’re an obvious fit. They’ve built a formidable firm based on a great culture amongst their people and outstanding client relationships. Their unwillingness to compromise on client service is a value shared by William Buck.”

    Stephen Champion and David Freney, Directors at Champion’s said joining forces with William Buck is a win-win for both their clients and people.

    “Our clients will gain access to William Buck’s deep expertise across Audit and Assurance, specialist Tax Services, Corporate Advisory and Wealth Advisory. Our team will benefit from William Buck’s expansive training and development and wellbeing programmes.”

    The firm will operate from William Buck’s existing Parramatta premises which will now be home to over 50 full time professionals. Further investment in Western Sydney together with ambitious growth plans will see the firm deliver continued benefits to the area through specialist services and greater employment opportunities.


  • 31-Oct-2022 11:38 | Deleted user

    Aboriginal students are making their mark on Sydney’s new airport with a flag celebrating First Nations culture proudly flying atop a crane building what will be Australia’s best airport terminal.

    The flag, designed and painted by First Nations students from neighbouring Luddenham Public School as part of Western Sydney Airport’s School Engagement Program, will fly 75 metres high on the Western Parkland City skyline.

    Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said the airport was committed to ensuring Australia’s new global gateway reflects and respects the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage, with First Nations people consulted throughout the airport design process.

    “From 2026, Western Sydney International will welcome millions of visitors from across Australia and the world and we want the airport to celebrate more than 60,000 years of First Nations’ culture with every one of them,” Mr Hickey said.

    “But we’re not waiting until 2026 – we’re celebrating and embedding First Nations culture into everything we do here at Western Sydney Airport from construction to opening.

    “These young students will be able to drive past the airport construction site and proudly see their flag flying high on what will one day be Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

    “We want to engage students in what will be one of the most transformational projects in Australia’s history and hopefully one day see them working at Sydney’s new airport.

    “We are committed to ensuring that Western Sydney International makes a meaningful difference to the lives of First Nations people, providing jobs and economic opportunities now and into the future once the airport is operational.”

    Construction of the airport terminal is charging ahead with work underway to build the baggage handling system platform. The departure and arrival levels are also underway with more than 450 tonnes of structural steel installed to date and 365 supporting columns now poured.

    Luddenham Public School Education Support Officer Krystal Player said flying the flag was an important representation of the school community, where more than a fifth of students are Aboriginal.

    “The flag features fifty dots to symbolise each student in our school and around the dots are the artworks created by each student along with their handprints,” Mrs Player said.

    “This is a great opportunity for students to really connect with the airport and be part of its journey.”

    Since construction began, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers have accounted for an average of 2.6 per cent of the Western Sydney Airport team, exceeding the project’s target.

    Earlier this year, Western Sydney Airport launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan, outlining its commitment to honouring First Nations communities


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