taken from www.employmentlawonline.com.au
Can I be fired for comments I make on social media?
Depending on the nature of the comment, it is possible for an employer to fire an employee for comments made on social media. This includes Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, online forums and email. Whether or not an employer is entitled to fire you for comments on social media depends on a variety of circumstances including:
Whilst Australian law recognises the freedom of information, opinion and expression, the Australian Constitution, unlike the American Constitution does not provide an unfettered right to freedom of speech. For example, pursuant to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, it is unlawful to do an act that is likely to offend or insult a person or group because of their race or ethnicity. Accordingly, racist or sexist comments, or comments intended to incite violence or fear, may be considered unlawful and give rise to dismissal.
Nowadays, as social media becomes a significant and valuable instrument for businesses, most companies will often include social media clauses or guidelines in their contract of employment or code of conduct. Comments on social media that contravene any of these provisions may entitle an employer to fire an employee. These provisions are often paramount in considering whether an employer is entitled to fire an employee.
Whether or not a comment breaches company policies however will depend on the facts of the situation.
Examples of comments that have resulted in lawful dismissal include commentary that:
Nonetheless, it appears that in order to terminate someone’s employment on the basis of social media comments, the comments must identify either the company or specific staff members. Comments that are vague or non-descript have been held to be insufficient grounds for dismissal.
What if I didn’t make the comments whilst at work?
Given the nature of the internet and the reliance that business places on social media, it is possible to be fired for comments made outside of work hours, or outside of the workplace. Social media obligations often fall within the scope of obligations that a company may place on its employees outside of working hours.
What if I only post my comments on private pages?
Firstly, there is no recognised right to privacy in Australian law. Accordingly, a Facebook page or Twitter feed only accessible by approved friends, or set to the maximum privacy settings, may be insufficient to prevent termination. Even anonymous blog posts have been the subject of lawful dismissals.
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NDIS Policy & Analysis, NDIS Opinion At DSC we have now asked thousands of Australians ‘what is one word that sums up how you feel about the NDIS?’. The answers invariably polarise. Some people say fear, confusion, anxiety; while others say: hope, opportunity, control.
Well, after 6 weeks of NDIS national roll out, sadly, my one word for the NDIS is Shitstorm.
How did it get to be so bad so quickly?
It was truly amazing how the ducks lined up to make the NDIS a reality.
PM Rudd wanted to keep a new contender away from the main game so gave him a minor, seemingly unimportant portfolio. The portfolio: disability, the contender: Bill Shorten.
Then the Economical Rationalists at the Productivity Commission gave us the dream report, they told us the NDIS will SAVE MONEY!
People with disability, carers and service providers united to create a powerful political force to drive the campaign for change (thanks Bruce, Rhonda, Ken, Ara and the late Lesley Hall).
The Every Australian Counts campaign recruited John Della Bosca an ex NSW Disability Minister and astute political operator to run their campaign (I applied for the job but am still waiting for an acknowledgement letter) with Kirsten Deane as the abfab campaign coordinator.
Then PM Julia Gillard tried to drive a political wedge with the Libs by making the NDIS a political football (remember the new tax on Medicare) and Tony Abbott said he was on her side (oh how Joe Hockey hated that, on so so many levels).
There are more happy ducks (including previous Minister Macklin’s drive) but that’s enough happy ducks for this piece and enough to give birth to the NDIS.
BUT now a different set of more dastardly ducks have lined up to create the the NDIS implementation shitstorm we know so well.
PM Julia Gillard brought the scheme forward one year to launch in 2013 (instead of 2014 as the Productivity Commission had recommended). She wanted the NDIS as part of her election platform but created too short a timeline for adequate preparation. I witnessed first hand the chaos this caused in the planning stages in Canberra as everyone scurried to build the biggest social reform since Medicare. Quite a bit later in NSW, Premier Mike Baird took a page out of the ‘lets get elected with crazy stupid ideas book’ and brought forward the NSW roll out from ending in 2019 to ending in 2018. OUCH!
The incoming Liberal Government (despite PM Abbotts’s support for the NDIS) was not that fond of the concept of a big spending NDIS and tried to grab some control back, which unleashed the natural tendency in Canberra for political infighting. So then the Department of Social Services (the bureaucrats) ramped up their aggression towards the NDIA (the Agency), and the politicians ramped up their nastiness with the NDIA Board and the states ramped up their natural tendency for biffo with the Commonwealth. Preparations for the NDIS have been a bit like bikies crashing a suburban birthday party ever since.
In amongst the infighting, the Federal Department of Human Services got hairy chested and grabbed the development of the NDIS portal off the Agency. Their IT system implementation has been the worst we have seen in a very long time, and given Canberra’s propensity to stuff up IT implementation, that is a really bold call.
The Abbott Government pulled an idiot masterstroke and decided to outsource 7,000 of the NDIA’s proposed 10,000 jobs. They cut the capacity of the Agency managing the biggest social reform… blah blah, by 70% and the outsourcing process is proving an absolute nightmare to administer. You’ve got to wonder how many of the staff left in the NDIA are simply trying to manage the outsourcing.
State based politics intervened to stuff up Commonwealth intentions. (Is that sentence a short history of Australian politics?) In NSW they gave away $200 million (yes $200 million) in LAC contracts without a competitive process. Right now in Victoria (as happened with disability deinstitutionalisation in the late 1980’s) the unions are dominating Labor government thinking about NDIS transition as union demands are jostling to get higher priority than the needs of people with disability. And that is not to mention WA’s parochialism, SA’s inability to count (the number of ECEI participants) and Queensland’s dogged recalcitrance (ok, let’s don’t).
Combining LAC’s and Planning is a bad idea and the ILC is desperately under-funded. I could write a whole article on that (oh wait, I did click here). LAC staff need to process hundreds of thousands of new NDIS participants over the next 3 years, a task requiring both individual case management type skills and exceptional community development capabilities. These are incredibly different skillsets. The LAC’s will be overwhelmed with processing large numbers of individuals in distress and the community development function will simply fall off the table. This is the single biggest decision the NDIA has made about the community interface of the NDIS and it is not a very good one.
For four years we have told people with disability and their families to expect control and choice, to dream their dreams and expect whatever is reasonable and necessary. Now we have My First Plan, aka getting what you have already got for the first year. Why did the Agency need to pull that rabbit out of the hat only a couple of months ago? Did no-one realise until then that planning for 380,000 participants in the 3 years from 2016 (2 years in NSW) was going to be a little tough?
So is the NDIS broken? Hell no! The NDIS is a fabulous scheme and the Productivity Commission was spot on recommending it.
The NDIA is staffed by some of the hardest working and smartest people you would ever like to meet, they have been given a really hard task and then so much has conspired to make that hard task, so much harder. This is not simply the Agency’s fault, it’s Australian politics at their worst and yes along the way some bad decisions got made.
We all need to acknowledge and not ignore the challenges and the Agency needs to dramatically improve its (2 way) communications and collaboration. The sector and the media needs to pay more positive attention to the design of the NDIS, too few people seem ready to constructively criticisethe scheme. We now need to be hypervigilant about making sure we don’t allow some of the current things in the pipeline to also end up being a disaster. ILC is a great example – everyone is saying that it is an issue, but it’s not until we actually see the ILC contracts and realise how inadequate the funding is and how much stuff is about to be lost that the sector will be up in arms. There needs to be more attention paid by everyone in the sector to the design of the NDIS and to call out problems when we see them, because once we allow the problems to materialise, it’s way too late.
This article is about highlighting the factors that led to this mess in this first 6 weeks of implementation; factors that are not built into the scheme’s design. The ducks lined up early to get the scheme off and running then we had a bunch of nasty ducks and now we need to move on.
Just how long this will take will depend on the next set of ducks and the leadership that is shown by all of us as the current storm passes. We can all positively address the fear, confusion and anxiety and really start to deliver on the hope, opportunity, choice and control the NDIS will bring.
The shitstorm will subside and if we get it right, Australia will have a world leading system to support people with disability, the NDIS.
Roland NaufalRoland’s three decades of disability experience and insistence with doing thing better have earned him a reputation as one of the sectors foremost truth-tellers. He thrives on straight-talking, finding hidden business opportunities and providing insights into things that matter in disability.
Roland worked extensively on disability deinstitutionalisation, and has lectured on the politics and history of disability. From 2012-2014, he consulted on NDIS design for the National Disability & Carer Alliance and was the winner of the 2002 Harvard Club Disability Fellowship. Roland has held leadership roles in some of Australia’s best known disability organisations and is now one of Australia’s most knowledgeable NDIS consultants and trainers.
Roland is a Subject Matter Specialist in NDIS Organisational Transition, Leadership & Governance, Strategic Planning & ILC.
With many theories floating around we went to the horses mouth:
Our question to Transport NSW was;
We have many requests to take children and their carer in our carers cars in child safety seats. Can you tell us what is the correct procedure regarding this as carers would take safety seats out of their cars and put them back again? I have looked at Australian Standards, and many other sites.
and their response was:
There has never been a requirement for all child seats to be fitted by an authorised fitter. It was always a strongly recommendation.
People can fit their own child seats as long as they are fitted correctly as per seat manufacturer's instruction.
The most important thing is that the child car seats must be fitted correctly every time it has been removed and refitted.
As of 1 July 2018, identity requirements for nationally coordinated criminal history checks have changed. Previously, two identity documents would have been sufficient. However, today, individuals are required to provide a photo ID and three supporting documents.
We also do Working with Children checks and First Aid in case you were wondering.
‘Morale at lowest’ as more NDIA staff quit
The Australian12:00AM July 17, 2018
Social Affairs WriterSydney
Another “spill and fill” in the most senior ranks of the National Disability Insurance Agency has replaced even more executive staff with contractors and revised other positions, forcing long-term employees to reapply for their jobs.
The new executive structure, leaked to The Australian, will begin at the end of the month with agency staff saying “morale is at its lowest” point.
Half of the eight most senior staff, who report directly to NDIA chief executive Rob De Luca, are independent contractors, including chief information officer Ian Frew, who is struggling to fix a computer meltdown that has lingered for more than two months.
In the layer below of 84 expert advisers and general, branch and state managers, 18 are now independent contractors.
Many of these have not yet been appointed. For example, of the 26 employees who report directly to Michael Francis, the deputy CEO in charge of participants and planning, 22 are vacant and subject to an “expression of interest”.
Under the old structure — as at June 6 — the agency employed regional managers responsible for parts of different states and territories including Victoria north, west and east; and south, central and west Queensland.
These positions appear to have been axed and replaced with state managers in charge of two states each except for Queensland and Western Australia, which each have their own manager.
The Northern Territory, one of the most complex rollout sites for the $22 National Disability Insurance Scheme because of its remoteness and indigenous population, no longer has its own manager and shares a staff member with South Australia.
While positions relating to participant experience have been culled, the deputy CEO in charge of strategy and risk — Anthony Vella, a contractor — has gained four senior direct reports.
So, too, has Antonia Albanese, who is in charge of markets and provider development.
The Australian previously revealed four former Bankwest employees had started in senior positions at the NDIA.
In this reshuffle, Luke Napolitano, who was state manager of business banking in Victoria, has started with the agency, managing property and procurement.
Mr De Luca was the managing director of Bankwest for five years before he was headhunted by then social services minister Christian Porter to head the NDIA.
The agency has previously received legal advice from the office of the Australian Government Solicitor warning that its over-reliance on contractors could breach either Fair Work or public service legislation regarding employment terms.
“If the agency purports to engage an individual as an independent contractor who is, as a matter of law, properly characterised as an employee who should be engaged under the Public Service Act, this may constitute a breach of … the Fair Work Act,” the AGS senior general counsel, Mark Molloy, wrote last year.
“Furthermore, in our view, if the agency head (or delegate) purports to engage independent contractors who are not ‘consultants’, this may constitute a breach of the public service code of conduct which, among other things, requires compliance with Australian laws, including the NDIS Act.”
A spokesman for the NDIA said the agency “has a mix of Australian public service (APS) staff, contractors, consultants and secondments from other APS agencies to deliver the scale of transformation required, and to assist in building and developing the NDIS”.
He said the contracts for individuals employed by the NDIA were all subject to personnel in-confidence arrangements.
“All senior appointments are merit-based and have been made following the appropriate process,” he said.
NDIS Compliance: Measuring, Managing + Reporting Client Outcomes
NDIS hasn't just changed the funding model for Australians with disability, but the delivery and engagement model for the industry as well.
More than any other sector, Community organisations are simultaneously under pressure in every part of their operations, from client management to finance, service delivery to HR, from scheduling to case management, from marketing to corporate governance.
Your patience is appreciated while we go through this change.
With the release of the McKinsey ‘Independent Pricing Review’ recommendations recently, there is now need, for even more clarity over pricing and claims. McKinsey & Company stated in their Report that the "recommendations will have a positive impact on provider economics, improving overall industry margins by 2% to 4%, with even higher margin improvements for providers serving participants with complex needs or in rural, remote and very remote areas". In summary: