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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.  

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.

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).  

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?  

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).

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.

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.  

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. 

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?

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.

Aviation: struck out for being too late

Australia’s highest court the High Court of Australia (“HCA”) has recently confirmed unanimously that a claim for personal injuries arising out of the death of or injury to a passenger in an aircraft (“the incident”) must be brought within two years of the date of the incident pursuant to section 34 of the Commonwealth Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (“CACLA”).

Receiver vs Liquidator: who is to distribute under s561 of the Corporations Act?

The decision in Kirman, In the matter of RWE Robinson & Sons Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 372 (Kirman) has clarified and confirmed that receivers, in a concurrent liquidation and receivership situation, have the ability to make payments under section 561 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).

Back pay: WCC President resolves uncertainty for section 39 affected workers

On 18 April 2019 President Judge Phillips published his decision in RSM Building Services Pty Limited v Hochbaum finding that the bar provided by s 39(1) Workers Compensation Act 1987 to the payment of weekly compensation benefits continues to operate until such time as it is lifted by s 39(2) of the 1987 Act following an assessment in accordance with s 39(3).

Say bye to 5 year grace periods

As a result of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements, the initial grace period before someone can file a non-use application to remove a registered trade mark has been reduced from 5 years to 3 years.

The What and the Where – Some Short facts about Sexual Harassment law in Australia

Modern businesses reject the notion that sexual harassment in the workplace is acceptable. However, confusion about what legally constitutes workplace sexual harassment under Australian law continues and might inadvertently lead to inappropriate behaviour, resulting in claims against employers and individuals.

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