In Today's Media

ATO admits working hours inefficient after staff backlash over request to work nine more minutes (20/02/2017)
The Australian Taxation Office has admitted its working hours do not meet community expectations and are inefficient.
Source: ABC

How the High Court judges align: strong uniformity may not last (20/02/2017)
High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel has lost her strongest collaborator on the retirement of predecessor Robert French. According to statistics on how the nation's leading seven judges decide cases, his departure leaves a line-up which could show less unity and diminish legal certainty despite the Chief Justice's vocal preference for the court speaking in one voice.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Tech firm plea to keep 457 visa workers (20/02/2017)
Federal Innovation Minister Arthur Sinodinos is to consult with executives of $6 billion software giant Atlassian and other leaders of the tech industry over the government’s review of 457 visas. In an interview with The Deal magazine, in The Australian today, Senator Sinodinos has promised “not to throw the baby out with the bathwater” when it comes to the potential changes in the visa system which have alarmed Australia’s growing start-up industry.
Source: The Australian

‘All jobs created in past year were part-time’, says economist (20/02/2017)
The share of underemployed workers — those who want to work more hours but can’t — has risen to the highest level since the 1970s, as the economy struggles to create full-time jobs. Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 5.7 per cent in January, from 5.8 per cent a month earlier, thanks to a surge in the number of part-time jobs.
Source: The Australian

We’ll make bosses pay for Turnbull’s build code, says CFMEU (20/02/2017)
The construction union leadership has threatened to seek extra pay rises if workers are forced to give up conditions to comply with the Turnbull government’s new construction code. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said officials would move to cash out lost conditions and “it could be quite expensive” for builders already locked into paying annual 5 per cent pay rises.
Source: The Australian

Overseas workers: NSW government contractor didn't check whether Australians were available (20/02/2017)
The NSW government has confirmed that it did not check whether Australian employees were suitable to fill 32 computer software jobs, which its contractor filled using overseas workers. The overseas workers on 457 visas were hired after the government's ServiceFirst shed more than 200 employees who had provided computer support services.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Cleaning contractor at 18 Victorian public schools in wages scandal (20/02/2017)
A cleaning contractor faces an investigation into claims of "massive wage theft" spanning a large network of Victoria's government-run schools. Pay slips, time sheets and workplace agreements seen by Fairfax Media reveal Ramos Cleaning Services is often undercutting minimum pay and conditions for cleaners by as much as $100 a week.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Skilling just one instead of 10 TAFE institutes for the future (20/02/2017)
Jon Black, the head of TAFE NSW, makes no apologies for being too close to business. He plans to modernise TAFE to better respond to industry needs with new cyber security and robotics courses for industries, including agriculture. A new school of entrepreneurship has taken over a building that once accommodated training for shoemakers.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Disabilities a barrier to work, advocates say, call for more support (17/02/2017)
Disability advocates argue that employers focus on impairments rather than skills or qualifications and, so, disabled people are locked out of the workforce.
Source: ABC

Gillian Triggs to face tell-all showdown on 'scandalous' 18c race hate case (17/02/2017)
Human Rights Commissioner in parliamentary spotlight over the s18(c) Racial Discrimination Act made by a worker at Queensland University of Technology against three students.
Source: Brisbane Times

CFA member stood aside over change room creep camera (17/02/2017)
A senior member of Victoria's Country Fire Authority has been stood aside; a privacy abuse scandal it was discovered that female colleagues were being covertly recorded while getting changed in a storage shed.
Source: SMH

NSW government passes the buck over hiring of IT workers on 457 visas (17/02/2017)
Allegations are made against the NSW government that it "passed the buck" on labour-market testing
Source: SMH

Appco class action: Video emerges showing sales team being forced to simulate sex acts with colleagues (15/02/2017)
Shocking new videos showing workers being forced to simulate sex acts for not meeting sales targets have emerged as part of a $60 million class action against leading charity fundraiser Appco Group Australia.
Source: ABC

Airservices Australia insiders warn air-traffic job cuts are 'huge risk to public safety' (15/02/2017)
Job cuts have left the government body responsible for air-traffic control in Australia in crisis, with senior Airservices officials providing damning accounts that the organisation is now "a huge risk to public safety".
Source: ABC

Victorian firefighters win $3000 pay rise before deal is struck (15/02/2017)
Professional firefighters at Vic­toria’s Country Fire Authority have secured allowance increases of 19 per cent, including a payment of $3000, before the union has agreed to the full terms of a pay deal. The Australian can reveal the CFA has also started paying firefighters a sign-on fee, which a source said was $3000 cash, ­although the CFA and the United Firefighters Union and the Victorian government declined to comment.
Source: The Australian

Almost half Australia Post employees on workers' comp have active ABNs (15/02/2017)
A worker was being paid $80,000 as a national sales manager at another company while receiving $45,000 a year from Australia Post for being incapacitated at work, according to a former Australian Post manager.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Sally McManus firms as first female secretary of the ACTU (15/02/2017)
Union official Sally McManus looks set to become the first female secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions following her endorsement this week by left-wing unions.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Domino's Pizza workers kept in the dark about underpayment for almost two years (15/02/2017)
Ripped off workers, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars from embattled fast-food giant Domino's Pizza, are still waiting to be repaid almost two years after the underpayment was discovered. Since allegations of rampant underpayment were exposed by Fairfax Media, Domino's has insisted it has "zero tolerance" for underpayment and that its top priority was to ensure workers got their entitlements.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

What does Zero Tolerance mean for Domino's? (15/02/2017)
Time and again firms and institutions caught up in scandals try and blame it on a few bad apples. It is crisis management 101. Rather than taking responsibility and looking more closely at the organisation and culture, they downplay the problem – at just about any cost.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Why regions can't persuade fly-in fly-out workers to live locally (14/02/2017)
Regions that offer adequate amenities for residents have the best chance of converting long-distance commuters, writes Riccardo Welters and Christopher Nicholas.
Source: ABC

South Australia power sector facing ABCC crossfire (14/02/2017)
Unions have warned South Australia’s volatile power sector faces industrial upheaval as the state’s electricity distribution network seeks to impose the Turnbull government’s contentious construction code on hundreds of workers. SA Power Networks has ­angered unions by seeking to negotiate separate enterprise agreements for its 2000-strong workforce, insisting it would be unlikely to be eligible for an exemption from the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s new building code.
Source: The Australian

Australia Post investigated over alleged manipulation of injury rate for bonuses (14/02/2017)
Comcare is investigating Australia Post over allegations that some senior managers manipulated data on injured employees' absences from work to meet key performance indicators and secure hefty bonuses. The allegations, from former and current Australia Post managers, include senior staff delaying injury claims, recording workers on sick leave when they are really absent on injury, and paying for medical expenses in lieu of workers lodging compensation claims.
Source: Australian Financial Review

Australian Toll Group workers face the brunt of job cut drive (14/02/2017)
Australian employees at transport giant Toll are expected to bear the brunt of a large job-cutting drive, starting with up to 200 layoffs to be announced this week. Managers from Toll Group will hold meetings with union officials in coming days to discuss job losses.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Senate inquiry told ABCC law will not 'level the playing field' for all (14/02/2017)
Not all building and construction companies will benefit from the "level playing field" the federal government promised to create with the introduction of its Australian Building and Construction law, a Senate inquiry has heard. A Senate inquiry on amendments to the Australian Building and Construction Commission law passed in December has heard that companies that signed new enterprise agreements before 2014 will be disadvantaged in tendering for lucrative government-funded building projects.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Labour 'flexibility' has come at a cost: underemployment (14/02/2017)
For all the signs that our economy is on the mend, two influential reports on Friday also highlighted the soft underbelly of Australia's labour market. Sure, economic growth is forecast to return back towards its long-term average, unemployment has probably peaked, and the era of ultra-low interest rates is nearing an end. But that is little comfort for the many workers who simply aren't getting enough hours.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Allan Fels calls for compensation scheme for Domino's workers (14/02/2017)
Embattled pizza giant Domino's faces calls for an independent compensation scheme for exploited workers as well as heightened scrutiny from the workplace regulator and the Senate amid allegations of widespread wage fraud. The chairman of the migration workers taskforce Professor Allan Fels said Domino's needed to take the lead and arrange a "genuine" and "independent" compensation scheme for underpaid workers, who he believes could be in the thousands.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald