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The way misconduct allegations are put to an employee can have a significant impact on a workplace investigation, and is an area where employers often come unstuck, according to Ashurst partner Julia Sutherland. She warns against using 'legal labels' to describe alleged behaviour, as this is "one thing that really can put the investigation on the wrong course".

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The former CEO of human capital provider Harrier Group is alleging her dismissal for misconduct was unlawful adverse action. Also in this article, IBM has backpaid more than $12 million to 1,647 employees after it failed to apply the relevant awards to their annualised salary arrangements.

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The same 'elemental' traits that make someone a great leader can be equally damaging to a workplace if left unchecked, leadership expert Zoƫ Routh says. She outlines four types of leaders whose turbulent behaviour can impact teams in both positive and negative ways.

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An employee has failed to argue that his "robust" discussion with an HR manager was a reasonable response to his workplace frustrations, and didn't warrant dismissal. The FWC found his comments about a manager's incompetence and the employer's poor culture were "far in excess of what could be accepted as a tolerable and justified expression of his frustration".

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Many redundancy decisions put on hold by JobKeeper 1.0 are now back on the agenda, and Gadens partner Brett Feltham warns that making fair, defensible decisions about who to select and why will take careful consideration. Some selection criteria that might appear at first glance to be objective actually carry some risks.

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An employee's misconduct sacking has been ruled harsh on appeal after excessive delays in the workplace investigation. An FWC full bench found the employer had no valid reason to dismiss the employee, and the dismissal was harsh because the 14-month-long investigation period caused him unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty.

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Amid a "massive paradigm shift" to contract labour during the pandemic, employers are realising how few full-time employees they actually need. Drake International CEO Christopher Ouizeman says employers using sophisticated workforce measurement tools – instead of relying on "gut feel" or data from their accountants – are starting to properly understand their needs and costs.