Commercial Law

25 03, 2019

Genuine Redundancy vs Unfair Dismissal. It Pays to Know the Difference! 

March 2019 | Scott Freidman The recent case of Ken McShane v Port of Newcastle [2019] FWC 177 has restated the general principles applied in determining whether an employee has been let go as a result of a genuine redundancy, or if they were, in fact, unfairly dismissed. This matter was brought to the Fair Work Commission by Mr McShane against the Port of Newcastle (PON) on the 10th of August 2018. Mr McShane alleged the decision of the

18 02, 2019

Risks Posed by Departing Employees: Is Your Business Protected?

February 2019 | Kieran Kelly We have recently been asked to advise several clients in relation to the protections they have in place from former employees who have joined a competitor. The scenario often takes a common form: a trusted senior employee hands in their notice of resignation; the employer discovers or is informed that the former employee is joining a market competitor; and the employer seeks advice in relation to whether they have any protections in place to

31 01, 2019

Insolvency Practitioners, Trading Trusts and Priorities: Uncertain Times

January 2019 | Kieran Kelly Insolvency practitioners have been faced with uncertainty as to whether the priority regime in the Corporations Act should apply when companies that have conducted their business through a trading trust enter into receivership or liquidation. Subject to certain “priority” creditor provisions, the Corporations Act seeks to provide for the equal treatment of unsecured creditors. Secured creditors are given priority to recover their claims in full. Expenses properly incurred by a liquidator or receiver and

7 12, 2018

Don’t Fall Foul of New Pension Rules

December 2018 | Jonathan Harris Serious consequences for failing to make minimum payments You probably know that the ATO has confirmed the consequences of not meeting the minimum payment requirements for pensions. A pension ceases at the start of the financial year in which the minimum pension requirement is not met and will only recommence after new pension documents are executed. Most recently however, the ATO confirmed that the pension will cease for transfer balance cap purposes at the

31 10, 2018

Be Careful Dealing with Employee Entitlements When Selling Your Business

October 2018 | Jonathan Harris Unless an award applies, the Fair Work Act 2009, Long Service Leave Act 1995 and National Employment Standards (NES) determine who is liable for employee entitlements when your business is sold. In a sale of a business there are a number of important things to be aware of regarding long service leave, personal leave, and other employee entitlements. Long Service Leave (LSL) For long service leave, when a business is sold and employees transfer

18 09, 2018

Casual or Not? The Federal Court Sends a Warning to Employers

September 2018 | Kieran Kelly The 16 August 2018 decision of the Federal Court in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 (WorkPac v Skene) has significant ramifications for businesses that rely on casual employees. The characterisation of an employee as casual or permanent determines a wide range of entitlements, from the payment of leave to notice of termination and redundancy pay. In WorkPac v Skene, the Full Court of the Federal Court was asked to decide if

10 09, 2018

Cryptocurrencies – be aware and tread carefully

September 2018 | James Freidman "There is something special about Bitcoin that makes it inherently resistant to government control. It is built on code. It lives in the cloud. It is globalized and detached from the nation-state, has no own institutional owner, operates peer to peer, and its transactions are inherently pseudonymous. It cannot be regulated in the same way as the stock market, government currency markets, insurance, or other financial sectors." - Jeffery Tucker (American economist and writer).  Introduction

15 08, 2018

Is your company experiencing financial difficulty?

August 2018 | Scott Freidman There are many reasons why a company might find itself in financial difficulty. Even if your company appears to be running well, it is important to know what to do if things go wrong. Adopting a ‘head-in-the-sand’ approach won’t make things better. How and how quickly a business reacts to periods of financial pressure determines its success and ability to recover. Generally speaking, when a company is experiencing serious financial difficulty, company directors have

15 08, 2018

Does your business have a Notifiable Data Breach strategy in place?

August 2018 | Scott Freidman On 22 February 2018, significant amendments to the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 came into effect establishing the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in Australia. Prior to these amendments, there was no legal requirement for entities (private or otherwise) to notify individuals whose personal information had been breached. The statutory changes are a positive step towards the protection of personal information. But what do they mean for business owners? What are the changes?            The amendments