Friday, 25th of September 2015

 

Issue #2 September

 

TOP STORY

Cease for general skilled migration visa applications
 
 

ISSUES OF THIS MONTH

Cap and Cease for 175, 176 and 475 visas now in effect

 

Workplace Bullying Case Law

 

Calling all Pastry Chefs, Painters and Panel Beaters

 

Chinese rush to fill work & holiday visa spots within minutes of its start

 

Turnbull Government considers blocking singer Chris Brown from entering Australia

 

Migration intake needs to rise to avoid recession

 
 

Cap and Cease arrangements for offshore General Skilled Migration visa applications now in effect

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, set a cap for offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas which takes effect on 22 September 2015. The following offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas are affected:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled Sponsored (subclass 176)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475).

The cap sets the maximum number of places that can be granted in the 2015–16 financial year for these visa subclasses. This total has already been reached. Therefore, applications for these visas that were not finalised before 22 September 2015 are taken not to have been made and the relevant visa application charge will be repaid to affected applicants.

If your application is affected by the Cap and Cease determination, the DIBP will send you, or your authorised recipient (if you have one), a letter of notification.

The DIBP will be repaying the charges back to the applicants.

It will take about 15 weeks for the DIBP to return the funds.

For more information please see this link:

www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/CapandCease

 
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Workplace Bullying Case Law

Workplace Bullying Case LAw

Fair Work Commission rules Employer in breach of anti-bullying provisions

Business owners have long held the view that the anti-bullying legislation has no real "teeth" and investment in legal advice is not cost effective. Although there is still no compensatory element legislated directly for bullying in the workplace, a breach can still lead to orders which can lead to orders to force the development of internal policies and procedures and training as well as the added cost of litigation in the Commission.

In CF & NW v Company A & ED [2015] FWC 5272 (CF & NW v Company A & ED), the Commission found a company to be in breach of the 2014 anti-bullying amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) and ordered that it reform its workplace. This judgement should serve as a notice to Employers to ensure that they have effective policies and procedures when there have been allegations of workplace bullying. It is important to follow these policies and procedures to make it clear that bullying is not tolerated in the workplace and to protect your employee's workplace health and safety.

Workplace Bullying under the FW Act

Section 789FD of the FW Act provides that a worker is bullied at work when an individual or group of individuals behaves unreasonably towards the worker and that behaviour causes a risk to health and safety. Reasonable management action does not constitute bullying.

Under s 789FF, the Commission may make orders it deems appropriate to prevent the worker from being bullied further.

CF & NW v Company A & ED

In this case, two employees of a real estate agency made an application to the Commission under the anti-bullying provisions, alleging that a property manager at the agency had engaged in bullying behaviour, including:

  • Belittling conduct;
  • Swearing, yelling and use of otherwise inappropriate language;
  • Daily interfering and undermining the applicants' work;
  • Physical intimidation and "slamming" of objects on the applicants' desks,
  • Attempts to incite the applicants to victimise other staff members; and
  • Threats of violence.

Informal internal investigations and workplace mediation did not resolve the matter. The Property Manager resigned from her employment, but took up an equivalent position at a related company. She was soon seconded back to the workplace where the bullying was alleged to have occurred.

At the time of the hearing, the applicants were on a leave of absence from the company. They had lodged claims for workers' compensation and were seeking medical treatment.

Ruling

The Commission found that the Employer and the Property Manager were in breach of the workplace bullying provisions under the FW Act, as the Property Manager had engaged in repeated unreasonable conduct that constituted a risk to health and safety.

Given that the Property Manager had so quickly returned to the workplace where she had engaged in bullying behaviour, the Commission ordered that the Property Manager and the applicants work at separate workplaces and avoid coming into contact with each other.

The Commission was also critical of the manner in which the company investigated the matter. Lacking a formal anti-bullying policy, the company's handling of the complaint had been poor and contributed to the feeling of victimisation of the applicants. The Commission ordered the company develop a policy and conduct training to educate staff on acceptable work practices and the harmful impacts of bullying.

Implications for Employers

This case highlights the importance of having proper anti-bullying training and workplace policies to ensure that a positive workplace culture is maintained. It is essential to follow any procedures outlined in your workplace policies and to enforce them. Bullying has serious impacts on employee health and productivity, and may lead to talented workers choosing to pursue their trade elsewhere.

With adequate training and a suitable anti-bullying and grievance procedure policy, you can limit the effects of bullying within your workplace and create a positive and friendly working environment.

NB Lawyers offer a FREE 20 minute legal consultation to all Employers.

NB Lawyers are Employment Law Specialists. If you are interested in learning more about workplace bullying provisions under the FW Act or are looking to implement an anti-bullying policy, please contact Jonathan Mamaril, Principal, on 0738765111 or via email at jonathanm@nb-lawyers.com.au.

Written by
Jonathan Mamaril
Principal & Director, NB Lawyers
07 3876 5111
jonathanm@nb-lawyers.com.au
LAWYERSFOREMPLOYERS.COM.AU

 

CALLING ALL PASTRY CHEFS, PAINTERS AND PANEL BEATERS

No Borders Jobs

No Borders is frequently contacted by prospective sponsors seeking foreign workers to fill skills shortages. Some of these sponsors have been our clients for many years.

Currently we are experiencing a high demand for experienced pastry chefs, painters and panel beaters. If you or any of your contacts are skilled in these professions and are seeking a sponsor, please email your resume to service@noborders-group.com.

 

Chinese rush to fill work & holiday visa spots within minutes of its start

Chinese rush for work and holiday visa

The long awaited work and holiday visa program with China has started and applications for the first tranche of the subclass 462 visas were filled within minutes of being made available, according to a news release from the office of the immigration minister, Peter Dutton.

An initial 1500 visas will be available under a new arrangement with China which came into effect this week. The arrangement will eventually allow 5000 young Chinese people to enjoy an extended holiday in Australia with the opportunity to engage in short term work or study.

The Work and Holiday visa agreement with China Subclass 462 is for young, educated, Chinese nationals aged between 18 and 30 years. It will be capped at the 5000 visa places each year.

"These 5000 young Chinese people will join the ranks of around 240,000 young people from around the world each year who enjoy a working holiday in Australia," Mr Dutton said.

"China will be joining a host of other countries given access to the Work and Holiday programme."

The first 5000 places will be offered throughout 2015-16.

Mr Dutton said Australia is one of the first countries to introduce this unique experience for young people from China, providing Australia with a point of difference in the very competitive and important Chinese tourism market.

 
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Turnbull Government considers blocking singer Chris Brown from entering Australia

Singer Chris Brown barred from entering Australia

The US R&B singer Chris Brown could be barred from touring Australia because of his domestic violence record, the Australian government warned on Thursday.

Brown was sentenced to five years probation in 2009 for brutally punching and strangling musician Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time.

Tickets for four shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in December are due to go on sale on Monday.

Activist group GetUp! wants Brown denied a visa to enter Australia, saying allowing him to perform would be sending the wrong message to women.

The Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said she agreed and had, in her former role as assistant immigration minister, previously blocked boxer Floyd Mayweather entry to Australia because of his history of family violence.

The Migration Act states that anyone with a "substantial criminal record" involving a prison sentence of 12 months or more - including a suspended sentence - can be refused a visa.

Senator Cash suggested Immigration Minister Peter Dutton could take the same approach with Brown as she took with Mayweather.

Senator Cash said Mr Dutton would be looking at the visa issue "very, very seriously".

 
Click here for a Free Detailed Visa Assessment

Migration intake needs to rise to avoid recession

Migration intake to avoid recession

Australia’s best chance of avoiding a recession is to encourage strong migration growth. However, Australia’s population growth is quickly fading in part caused by falling migration numbers, thus threatening to rob the country of one of its strongest pillars of growth at a time of rising risk of recession, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Australia's population growth rate has slowed to a rate last seen nearly 10 years ago, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest statistical survey revealed.

"In the year to March 2015, Australia's population growth rate continued to slow from its peak in 2008-09 and is now just below the 20-year average growth rate," said Denise Carlton from the ABS.

"The Northern Territory recorded its lowest growth rate in 11 years, at 0.2 per cent for the year ending March 2015. This is 80 per cent lower than that of March 2014. Net interstate migration losses were the greatest contributor to this slower growth, with the territory recording its largest ever interstate migration loss in the year to March 2015," said Ms. Carlton.

"Western Australia also recorded slower growth. In the past two years, net overseas migration to the state has dropped by 71 per cent, while net interstate migration has dropped to the point where the state has seen a net interstate loss. This has not been seen in over 10 years in this state."

"Victoria and Queensland were the only states recording a net gain from interstate migration."

Australia's population grew by 316,000 people (1.4 per cent) to reach 23.7 million by the end of March 2015.

Net overseas migration contributed 173,100 people to the population (16 per cent lower than the previous year), and accounted for 55 per cent of Australia's total population growth.

Victoria continues to have the fastest population growth rate in the country, growing by 1.7 per cent (97,500 people).

Over the year, natural increase contributed 142,900 people to Australia's population, made up of 298,400 births (3 per cent lower than the previous year) and 155,500 deaths (4 per cent higher than the previous year).

The Wall Street journal notes that the latest migration data follows a recent string of gloomy data releases that stoked fears the country is at risk of sliding into recession after avoiding one for 24 years.

“The slower pace of migration now adds to those risks. Thousands of people are leaving Australia as a decadelong resources boom grinds to a halt, hurt by slowing demand from China and other emerging economies for raw materials used to build skyscrapers, bridges and railways.

"With few industries able to match the hundreds of billions of dollars that were plowed into resources projects in recent years, Australia needs population increases to fuel consumer spending on everything from real estate to flat-screen TVs."

 
 

We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email service@noborders-group.com. In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.

"The only limits to being the person you truly want to be are your own self-limiting beliefs and thoughts. In every moment, you have the power to choose your life"

 
 

No Borders Group

Email: service@noborders-group.com
Phone: (+61) 07 3876 4000

 
 

NO BORDERS Universal Migration
Level 4, 20 Park Road
Milton 4064
Queensland
AUSTRALIA