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Higher decisions for hire cars: addressing exorbitant claims for replacement vehicles

On 3 September 2019, Basten J of the NSW Supreme Court delivered appeal Judgments in three cases heard concurrently and (for the time being) confirmed the correct approach for assessing damages in claims for hire vehicle costs following an accident.  
Blog

You can have your chocolate and your personal leave too!

Pursuant to section 96(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act), permanent employees are entitled to 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave each year. For a standard 38 hour working week, this equates to 10 days of personal/carer’s leave at 7.6 hours per day.    
Blog

Can you hear me now? Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have admitted to listening in on users’ conversations.

Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have admitted to eavesdropping. It was recently revealed the industry giants paid hundreds of contractors to manually transcribe users’ conversations in an attempt to improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms. This revelation has left many users reeling.  
  • 24 Sep 2019

Blog

Being broke won't avoid a costs order

The High Court of Australia recently allowed an appeal from the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. The decision confirmed that normally costs follow the event and held that impecuniosity of the unsuccessful party is not a basis to change that.  
Blog

Grab a copy! Australian Institute of Company Directors publishes its 10th report into governance and performance in the not-for-profit sector

In 2010, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) launched the “not-for-profit governance and performance study” (originally called the “directors social impact study”). The study focused on key trends in the not for profit (NFP) sector and issues affecting NFP directors at that time. Ten years on, the AICD published its most recent findings in the latest edition of the study titled “the 2019 not-for-profit governance and performance study: 10 years on”. The report provides valuable insight into current challenges faced by the sector and its director counterparts.
Blog

All the money in the world! Facebook agrees to pay USD $5 billion for breaches of privacy laws

In a landmark decision, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US consumer regulator, has announced that Facebook has agreed to pay a USD $5 billion (AUD $7.1 billion) fine for deceiving its 80+ million users about the social medial giant’s ability to protect user’s personal information. The multibillion dollar fine is in addition to a $100 million settlement with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  
Blog

High Court free speech ruling will impact public servants, but how will it affect the rest of us?

With the demise of the master/servant relationship in the employment sphere 120 years ago, surely our private opinions are no longer owned by our employers.  In the privacy of our own garret, we must be free to pen our most impassioned feelings.  And if not obviously published in a manner that connects such ruminations to our employer, surely we must be free from consequence?  
Firm News

Hicksons Launch 2025 Strategic Vision

Today we reach a historic pivotal point with the official launch of our 2025 Strategic Vision.
Blog

No need for anonymity or suggestion boxes: NCAT finds complaint records are protected under the GIPA Act

In the matter of DQE v University of Sydney [2019] NSWCATAD 132, DQE (the Applicant) filed a complaint with the University of Sydney (Respondent) alleging he was bullied by an employee of the Respondent referred to as Mr A. The Respondent undertook a preliminary assessment of the complaint and found that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations. The Applicant was informed of the outcome of the preliminary assessment and following that sought access to all records held by the Respondent in connection with the complaint under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (Cth) (GIPA Act).
Blog

Prosecution under hazardous waste legislation fails for lack of evidence

In a recent case in the criminal jurisdiction of the New South Wales Local Court the prosecution failed because the magistrate held that there was no evidence capable of establishing one of the elements of the offence. The alleged offence was breach of the Commonwealth Hazardous Wastes (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 (“the HWA”) relating to alleged breach of a permit for the export from Australia to Belgium of scrap lithium ion batteries as hazardous waste.  The prosecution was brought against the corporate exporter as the holder of the export permit.
Firm News

Hicksons Grows with 10 Senior Promotions

The firm welcomes its newest partner Patrick Pilton (Property, Planning & Construction), as well as announcing a further 5 promotions to Associate together with 3 to Senior Associate and 1 to Special Counsel.
Blog

Money, money, money...

Employees who are covered by an award will have their award base rates increased by 3% with effect from the first pay period starting 1 July 2019. The FWC’s pay guides have the current minimum pay rates for full-time, part-time and casual employees in an award, so be sure to check again for the soon to be published 2019-20 pay guide rates.  
Blog

A snapshot of the notifiable data breach scheme over 12 months: trends, lessons learnt and hot tips

Malicious or criminal attacks continue to be the main sources of data breaches with 60% of breaches notified during the Period being attributable to such attacks. Notably, phishing and spear phishing were the most effective methods by which entities were compromised. Human error accounted for 35% of notified breaches and systems fault for 5% of notified breaches. 
Blog

Unfair dismissal and your finger’s right to privacy

The pressures on employers are vice-like, how do you comply with requirements of the Fair Work Act to keep accurate attendance records to ensure correct pay, without monitoring employee attendance accurately?
Blog

Educators beware: six year old applicant brings privacy complaint against preschool and obtains suppression orders.

A 6 year old girl made a complaint alleging that the private school she attended interfered with her privacy by inappropriately collecting and retaining videos and photos of her and her schoolwork; publishing or displaying images of her publicly; and not providing access to all personal information the school held about her.

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