HR Horrors and Australian Employment Law Update

Author Angela Franks
November 3, 2022

On Wednesday 22nd October, we welcomed back Cilla Robinson, Partner in Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety at Clayton Utz, for another edition of HR Horrors and Australian Employment Law Update.

The webinar covered key updates in the employment law space such as the latest Repect@Work amendments, including the introduction of the positive duty and what it may mean for an organisation, insights on the future of work in Australia following the Jobs and Skills Summit, as well as the ever popular HR Horrors, in the context of unfair dismissals, bullying, redundancies, and performance improvement plans.

Jobs and Skills Summit

Key focus areas of the 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit that were spoken about included enterprise bargaining, BOOT (Better Of Overall Test) changes, and flexibility.

“The current enterprise bargaining landscape is going to significantly change, and it will be an increasingly employee and union friendly landsacpe that employers will be forced to operate in.”

Fair Work Ombudsman annual report 2021-22

The report demonstrated that there has been a significant increase in the number of cases that the FWO had litigated, up 80% since last financial year (a record number of cases). The FWO recovered over $532 million in 2021-22.

“This is the warning to “get your house in order” as they are really cracking down on underpayments”

Repect@Work amendments

Since the release of the Report into the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces in 2020, which outlined 55 recommendations, there have now been some legislative changes to the fairwork act and discrimination laws.

In late Sept 2022, the Australian Government also introduced changes in the anti-discrimination and human rights legislation by way of the Respect@Work bill. Most significantly this bill creates a “Positive Duty” for employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation in the workplace.

HR Horrors

Some of the enduring HR Horrors that we are continuing to see include performance management, performance improvement plans(PIPs), bullying, and misconduct in the workplace. Cilla gives some advice on some of the common pitfuls than HR professionals face and how to help alleviate the horrors.

“Top Tips for Performance Improvement Plans(PIPs) – It’s so important to have rigour around formal and informal processes. Frequent and informal check in’s really do help, identify issues early.”

You can download the slides here and/or watch the recording below.

A huge thank you once again to Cilla for her time and expertise, and to all those that attended the webinar. We hope that you took away some new knowledge to help you navigate the world of HR and employment law.

If you have questions that haven’t been answered or want to discuss anything related to hiring and recruitment, please get in touch with our Frazer Jones team in Australia.

We look forward to bringing back HR Horrors in 2023.


  • Technology

People & Culture Business Partner

About the Company A growing international technology firm is recruiting for an experienced People & Culture Business Partner. Based in their Canberra office, this role works closely with the wider HR team locally and internationally. The key stakeholders are largely based in Canberra and the role will be working closely with the MD for a […]
  • Salary AUD150000 – AUD160000 per annum + Super
  • Posted Posted 2 days ago
  • Healthcare

Payroll Specialist

Our client is one of the world’s leading global technology organisations in the Healthcare industry.  They have strong values, are growing, and are looking to attract exceptional talent to the organisation and are based on Sydney’s North Shore. About the role Reporting to HR Operations Manager, this role will see you providing high quality payroll […]
  • Posted Posted 2 days ago
  • Professional Services

Human Resources Business Partner

We are thrilled to partner with a professional services firm to recruit an HR Business Partner for their Sydney office. This hybrid role starts as a 12-month contract with the potential to become permanent. About the Role This a broad generalist role providing guidance and coaching on the full employee lifecycle including everything from ER, […]
  • Salary AUD130000 – AUD150000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 7 days ago
  • Professional Services

Human Resources Manager

As the Human Resources Manager of this top-tier professional services firm, you’ll be at the forefront of developing and implementing the people strategy, initiatives, and operations, whilst leading a team of HR Business Partners. Your Role: Lead the Sydney HR Function: Guide a team of HR Business Partners while delivering strategic business partnering to national […]
  • Salary AUD160001 – AUD175000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 2 weeks ago
  • Staffing/Recruiting

Recruitment Consultant

Who We Are We’re a global HR executive search and recruitment consultancy. Driven by the work ethic and passion of our people, we help HR professionals thrive and empower leaders to put people and culture at the heart of their business – creating a more progressive future, for everyone. Frazer Jones is part of The […]
  • Salary AUD80000 – AUD85000 per annum + Super & Commission
  • Posted Posted 4 weeks ago
  • Hospitality/travel/leisure

Senior HR Consultant

We are delighted to be partnering with a privately owned Tourism business who are looking for a driven, ambitious Senior HR Consultant to roll out a Performance Management program on a 6-month contract (with possibility of extensions). The role is based in the Brisbane, working closely with the HR Manager and is great opportunity for […]
  • Posted Posted 1 month ago

Featured Content

  • Market Insight

Skills-based recruitment on the rise, high demand in specialist areas but a decline in DEI roles: Frazer Jones Pulse Q2 2024

  • Posted July 23, 2024
Global vacancies This data shows how the number of roles has changed by specialism compared to the last quarter. “Global hiring priorities present a mixed picture. Employee relations roles are in higher demand across North America, Europe and Australia. Reward positions show strong activity in most markets and payroll roles have increased globally, driven by […]
  • Career advice

Could mentoring be the cost-effective talent accelerator and attractor you and your organization are missing?

  • Posted July 4, 2024
What happens when you put together an expert on high performance and an expert on professional relationships? Well, the secret sauce people and organizations aren’t leveraging enough: mentoring. Dr Ruth Gotian is globally recognized expert in leadership development, recognized by Nature, Wall Street Journal and Columbia University and ranked as the number one emerging management […]
  • Market Insight

Webinar replay: Irish employment legislation 2024 – what you need to know so far

  • Posted July 2, 2024
Our latest webinar with Clair Schindler and Hilary O’Connor, Solicitor and Legal Consultant, focused on the Irish employment legislation changes in the first half of 2024. Why WATCH our webinar Replay? MEET THE speaker Hilary O’Connor Consultant Solicitor Hilary is a qualified and experienced mediator, who, having previously run her own business, now works in […]