Legal Update – Important Changes to Privacy Law

5 MARCH 2014

From 12 March 2014, significant changes to privacy law in Australia will come into effect following recent amendments to the legislation.  As the changes have important practical and legal implications for businesses in relation to the collection, storage and disclosure of personal information about employees, clients and customers (among others), it is important that you take the time to understand the reforms and to adapt your business practices accordingly.

The changes apply to government agencies as well as organisations, which includes individuals, partnerships and small business operators. Small business operators are defined as businesses with an annual turnover of up to $3,000,000, subject to some limited exceptions.
The changes apply to government agencies as well as organisations, which includes individuals, partnerships and small business operators. Small business operators are defined as businesses with an annual turnover of up to $3,000,000, subject to some limited exceptions. Continue Reading

Legal Update – Employer’s Obligation to Consult with Employees About Working Hours

5 MARCH 2014

On 1 January 2014, the Fair Work Commission issued a decision pursuant to recent amendments to federal employment legislation which, in essence, varied all modern awards to require employers to consult with award-covered employees about any changes to their rosters or ordinary hours of work.

More specifically, under the new laws employers are required to provide affected employees all relevant information regarding the proposed change, to invite the employee to give their views about the impact of the proposed change (including, for example, the impact on their family and/or caring responsibilities) and to consider any such views put forward by the employee.Continue Reading

Legal Update – Dormant Companies – Why Deregister?

19 SEPTEMBER 2013

In our experience, it is not uncommon for a company to be set up for a specific purpose and the company then remains dormant after that purpose has been achieved or the purpose for setting up the company falls away. There are costs and risks associated with allowing a company to remain dormant which should be considered as part of a wider consideration of whether to deregister the company once its purpose has been achieved or lapses.

While a company remains registered, it also remains subject to the ordinary legal requirements imposed by the corporations legislation including the payment of an annual fee. The directors of the company also remain subject to legal obligations relating to the affairs of the company.Continue Reading

Legal Update – Workplace Bullying – Preparing For Changes To The Law

19 SEPTEMBER 2013

From 1 January 2014, workers may apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying in the work place. This change in the Fair Work Act is significant because at present there is limited legislation in Australia which prohibits workplace “bullying”.

Under the new laws, a worker will be found to have been “bullied at work” where an individual or group behaves unreasonably towards that worker and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety. Continue Reading

Legal Update – PPSA Wake Up Call – Owner of Equipment Loses Ownership To Third Party

11 JULY 2013

An Australian court has finally handed down arguably the first substantive decision in relation to the Personal Property Securities Act (“PPSA”) which commenced in January 2012. Specifically, the Supreme Court of New South Wales found that the owner of equipment, which was on hire to another person, lost its ownership rights in the equipment to a third party receiver, as a result of the owner failing to register its interest as owner of the equipment on the Personal Property Securities Register.

While the court’s interpretation of the relevant provisions of the PPSA is not surprising: Continue Reading