Defining the Undefinable. Pursuing the illusive definitions of “independent contracting” and “employment”.

In the lead up to the 2016 federal election, the ALP committed “to work with workplace relations experts and practitioners, employers and unions to develop a definition of independent contracting that will provide certainty to workers and employers”[1]. Despite losing the election, there are still plenty of people involved in state and industry politics, who would like to do much the same thing.

So, let me explain why I think that heroic attempts to define independent contracting and employment are futile; and quite possibly counter productive, other than to reveal what the workplace relations experts already know – namely that the terms are neither defined nor definable.

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7 Market-Driven Features of the Fels Wage Fairness Panel Inquiry into the 7-Eleven Franchise

For anyone who might be looking for evidence of the effectiveness of market-driven initiatives in tackling labour exploitation, seven features of the Fels’ Panel inquiry into wage fairness within the Australian 7-Eleven franchise are worth noting. Continue reading

Can we set off the over-payments?

Me:  Probably not.

Audience: (Pugnaciously) But our contracts say we can!

Me:  Yeah, they do. Funny that. Probably not!

Audience: But why?

Me: Because you can’t usually raise a contractual set off against a statutory entitlement.

Audience: Oh!…. What?

Alarm bells ring to signal serious legal issue. Check out the discussion In Chambers…