If you believe your employer has unfairly or unjustly made your position redundant, it may have failed to follow procedural requirements surrounding the redundancy of your position. Your employer is obliged to follow a process prior to making the redundancy package payment.
High income employees and contractors?
Often highly paid employees think that they identify with lawyers that usually represent employers and with whom they have become friends. It can be a serious strategic error to believe that employer lawyers can do a 180 degree turn and think the way that they need to think to represent an employee. The strategic thinking required when acting for an employee is entirely different than acting for a company. McDonald Murholme knows the difference.
Many high income employees are unaware of their legal rights as they are under the assumption their higher salary prevents them from being protected under the Fair Work Act 2009 (cth).
While salary may prevent high income earners from making an Unfair Dismissal application, there are other laws that may be available to them.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a common feature of modern business and organisations use KPIs to measure performance and ensure that employees are meeting operational and strategic goals. However, they are often abused by disreputable managers to emotionally dismiss an employee. The phrase ‘moving the goal posts’ is often used to describe setting challenging KPIs, while it is reasonable for an employer to set tough targets to grow the business, it should not be set in a way as to ensure an employee would never meet their targets.
If I am a high income earner with outstanding bonuses and commissions from my previous employment, what can I do?
Generally bonuses and commission payments arise from a contract of employment. Accordingly, if bonuses or commissions remain due an employee has a right under their contract to recover these amounts.
Further, section 323 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) applies to ‘incentive-based payments and bonuses’ meaning there may also be a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009.
It is not uncommon for employees to own shares in their employer. This can take various forms, for example as part of a share scheme or following a purchase of shares, and your legal position in relation to your shares upon resignation will largely depend on the terms of the shareholder agreement. Your legal position will also depend on whether you own the shares, or if your ownership is contingent on a future event.
As a high-income earner, your professional reputation is one of the most valuable attributes you have when it comes to your employment. If you are dismissed by an employer, the question arises as to what you can do to protect your reputation in the context of applying for employment possibilities.
Generally speaking, a restraint of trade clause refers to an instance where one party agrees with another party to restrict a person’s right to carry on their trade or profession. Every case is different; restraint of trade clauses can vary depending on the nature of the agreement between employer and employee and the nature of the business of the employer.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), a high income employee is classified as someone whose pro-rata employment salary is equal to or above the high income threshold.
With increasing workloads and the adoption of flexible working arrangements, more and more of us are conducting work from our own homes. Commonly, we think very little of taking work-related material out of the office, often emailing ourselves the relevant information.
As an employee you are entitled to have a support person at a disciplinary meeting. This entitlement also extends to a performance management or investigatory meeting. In fact, the failure by an employer to allow you to have a support person present may result or add weight in a dismissal in relation to that meeting being deemed unfair due to the lack of procedural fairness.
You still have extensive rights and responsibilities as an employee, even if you have never signed an employment contract. The terms and conditions of your employment can be found in 4 places:
- The National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth);
- Any applicable industry modern award;
- An employer-specific enterprise bargaining agreement; and/or
- Rights under other pieces of legislation.
What is whistleblowing?
There is no universally accepted definition of whistleblowing. The term is typically used to describe the conduct of an employee who reveals information about an improper or detrimental act committed by their employer or colleague.