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Can Australian bosses force you back to the office?

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The recent shift by companies to require employees to return to the office has sparked discussions about the legality of such mandates.

Zoom, for instance, known for its remote work-friendly policies, has directed staff to return to the office for at least two days a week.

This shift is part of a broader trend, with close to 90% of Australian employers implementing mandatory in-office days, according to a survey by recruitment agency Robert Half.

The question arises: Can employers change their stance on remote work after initially directing employees to work from home? While in most cases the answer is yes, individuals have the right to advocate for flexible arrangements, provided they adhere to proper procedures.

Lawful direction

Employment contracts in Australia require employees, including those working on a casual or short-term basis, to follow “lawful and reasonable” directions from employers.

This legal requirement has been deemed “implied” by Australian courts in every employment contract. However, directives to return to the workplace must be considered “lawful and reasonable,” except in extreme cases where they conflict with government mandates or other laws.

Employees with legitimate reasons, such as health concerns, can contest returning to the office, and employers are obliged to provide a safe and considered plan for a return.

Failing to comply with such a direction may lead to disciplinary measures, including dismissal.

Consultation required

Consultation is required when a return-to-work directive impacts employees covered by awards or enterprise agreements. The Fair Work Ombudsman emphasizes that consultation involves giving notice, discussing proposed changes, sharing written information, and taking employees’ views into prompt consideration.

Workplace flexibility provisions in employment contracts, awards, or enterprise agreements grant employees the right to request work-from-home arrangements.

The Fair Work Act’s national employment standards also afford employees the right to request “flexible work arrangements” if they meet certain criteria, such as being parents, carers, disabled, or victims of domestic violence.

Employers can refuse flexible work arrangement requests only on “reasonable business grounds” after genuine consideration of alternative solutions.

Since June 6, 2023, employees have had the right to appeal to the Fair Work Commission, which has expanded powers to mediate, recommend, and even arbitrate disputes.

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Nintendo’s live presentation sets the stage to end the financial year with a bang

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PlayStation 5 has received a fresh Discord update, enhancing your social gaming experience. Connect with friends, join voice chats, and stay in the loop directly from your console.

Prepare for a thrilling showcase packed with game reveals, exclusive trailers, and updates on your favourite Nintendo franchises.

Whether you’re a fan of Mario, Zelda, or new indie titles, this Direct promises to deliver something for everyone. Mark your calendars and get ready for a gaming extravaganza!

Emily Leaney joins to discuss the latest.

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Finance expert empowers his social audience with accessible wealth tips

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The right strategy can change the game for your financial freedom. Meet the advisor making his tips accessible to all.

Wyld Money dives into the world of financial freedom. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just getting started, join us for actionable tips and tricks to unlock your earning potential, and retire on your own terms.

In this episode, Mark is joined by James Wrigley, Financial Advisor at First Financial. #wyld money #trending

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It takes a village: coordinated financial teams prove paramount to maximising wealth

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The pursuit of wealth is often faced by significant challenges including debt, lifestyle costs, and burnout – so what methods can help overcome these challenges?

Maximising financial opportunities involves a suite of tasks, from leveraging favourable loan rates, strategic tax planning, and coordinated financial advising.

Mark Wyld from MW Wealth joins to discuss more. #featured

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