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Connexus : Issue 37
connexus www.abacus.org.au 41 Employers who fail to properly consider requests for flexible work arrangements or extended unpaid parental leave before refusing them could be exposed to complaints of discrimination or adverse action. As a result, organisations should review their policies and procedures to ensure they can adequately identify issues giving rise to adverse action. In addition, staff with responsibilities for grievance handling may need retraining in the relevant areas of risk. Adverse action will undoubtedly affect all aspects of how employers engage with their employees, from the recruitment process to general management, potential termination and even how complaints are handled. -- Donna Brown is a senior lawyer at Abacus. Qantas found guilty Qantas has been found guilty in the Federal Magistrates Court in a case highlighting the broad application of adverse action claims under the Fair Work Act. In a case brought by Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association against Qantas Airways Ltd and Anor, it was claimed that Qantas coerced maintenance engineer Luke Murray to prevent him from exercising a workplace right. After completing a six-week relief posting, Murray realised he had worked additional hours, including nightshift, and was owed back pay according to his enterprise agreement. He lodged a written claim for the back pay, or rostered days in lieu of it, and Qantas subsequently cancelled all his further postings. Murray also applied for two senior positions, but was unsuccessful. The court found in favour of Murray, stating that Qantas had taken adverse action by altering his position and had prejudiced him by suspending further international postings. A further hearing date was set to determine the civil penalties against Qantas. ADELAIDE MELBOURNE SYDNEY OXFORD INFORMATIONSECURITY IBUSINESSCONTINUITY RECOVERY Only the foolhardy think risk management is all about financial risk. Savvy mutuals know it includes their Information Security as well. That's why they place their tr ust in CQR Consulting - Australia's largest independent information security specialist. Call us now on 02 8249 4425 to see how we can help you, or visit www.cqrconsulting.com