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Posted: December 9th, 2021

Workplace law – Essie has recently graduated from accounting

Essie has recently graduated from accounting

Answers in paragraphs, please, for the IRAC FORAMT test.

What is the first question? (65 marks)

At TSC, an esteemed accounting firm, Essie has recently graduated and applied for an entry level position. When she learns she’s been chosen for an interview, she’s a little taken aback. She learns about the job’s daily responsibilities and requirements during the interview. She happily accepts the opportunity.

Essie begins work at TSC a week after that. She’s taken aback by a number of characteristics of her new job. Even though she was told during the interview that her working hours would be from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with a one-hour lunch break, she now discovers that she must arrive early in the morning and not leave until after 7:00 pm, contrary to what she was told during the interview. TSC employees eat lunch at their desks and continue working throughout the day, according to her findings. her boss called her into his office and told her that staying till 7 p.m. is the norm for their staff and if she wants success at the company, she must follow suit as well. After-school care doesn’t open until 6 p.m., which irritates Essie, who has to pick up her younger brother from there every day. He shrugs and tells her they can easily find another “bright” graduate to take her place when she mentions this. Essie does not say anything further since she is afraid she will be sacked.

It won’t be long until her brother starts accompanying her on after-school business trips. He doesn’t bother anyone and works on his school assignments in her office silently. Essie is infuriated when she hears the line manager talking to the HR manager in the coffee room and the line manager is visibly unhappy. The line manager believes that Essie should not have been hired and that a male graduate with fewer responsibility should have been sought instead. One graduate will soon be promoted to assistant manager, according to the line manager. When Essie is so busy and wants to leave work early, her line manager says she’s in the wrong position to be promoted.

Exhausted following a meeting between her line manager and HR manager, Essie retreats to the file room for some alone time. During his search for a file, Harold, a senior associate, approaches Essie and begs her to hold the ladder for him because the ladder is old and prone to rocking. Essie sprains her wrist as the ladder and Harold both collapse on her as one of the unlocked boxes falls from the shelf and hits Harold. Her right wrist is hurting since she is right-handed, and it is her right wrist. As a result, Essie is concerned that the line manager will see this as yet another reason to terminate her.

His displeasure with TSC is also evident as Harold is tending to Essie’s injured wrist. He informs Essie that he has been a senior associate at TSC for over fifteen years, and that he was previously a junior associate and a graduate of the company. Restructuring has taken place, which has resulted in a reduction in the number and status of senior colleagues. The four divisions of TSC will be replaced by four new executive associates. They have a new division head, Nate, and Harold isn’t happy about it. They both went to the same university, and Harold rose to the position of senior associate while Nate remained at the same company for years without being promoted. Nate will no longer be Harold’s manager, and Harold will be forced to perform the duties of a junior associate on a daily basis. There were other people who may have taken Harold’s place if he didn’t accept the offer from the manager. After receiving a termination notice, Harold has decided to leave his current position. Essie shares her story with Harold. Essie and Harold seek your advice.

a) Essie wants to find out: b)

i. concerning the working hours and whether or not she should have to stay longer

iii. the line manager’s comments concerning her current status and future promotion

iii. Any compensation she is entitled to for her injuries

Is it legal to terminate her because she showed up late or because she is unable to perform her job duties due of her injury?

c) Harold wants to know if TSC has the authority to fire him.

Inquiry No. 2 (15 marks)

a) How may an employer legally terminate an employee, and in what circumstances can the Fair Work Commission get involved in the termination process? Is there a time when the Court can intervene?

Is there a law in place that protects union members?

What is the third question? (20 marks)

In his day job, Freddy fixes printers. TSC employs him on a regular basis. For years, TSC has been quite particular about when time of day Freddy is allowed to work so that the accountants may have easy access to the printers when they need it most. In order to fix any printer, Freddy always brings his own equipment. Freddy frequently informs TSC of his absences, so they may plan accordingly. Freddy doesn’t work for any other company and has two interns he takes to the job in order to divide the workload. ‘ Freddy appreciates the fact that the company is willing to accept responsibility for his work and gives it his all.

As an employee and as a subcontractor, what is Freddy’s personality like? What does it mean that Freddy is either one or the other?


Question 1 (65 marks)

Essie has recently graduated from accounting and has applied for a graduate position with TSC, a very prestigious accounting firm. She is very surprised when she is notified that she received an interview. At the interview, she is told the day-to-day tasks and what would be involved in the position. Very eagerly, she accepts the job.

A week later, Essie starts at TSC. She is very surprised with several aspects of her new position. First, while she was told at the interview that the work hours were from 9am to 5.30pm with a one hour lunch break, she finds that she is expected to arrive well before 8am and not leave before 7pm. Further she finds that all employees at TSC eat their lunch at their desks and continue working. When she tries to leave work on her second day at 5.45pm, her line manager calls her into his office and explains to her that staying until 7pm is pretty much expected of their employees and if she wants to do well at the firm, she must do the same. Essie is not pleased as she always picks up her younger brother from after-school care, which does not operate after 6pm. When she mentioned this, the manager shrugs and tells Essie that they can easily get another ‘keen’ graduate to take her job. Worried that she will be fired, Essie does not say anything further.

However over the next few weeks, she start to bring her brother to the office after school. He does not disturb anyone and sits very quietly in her office with his school work. The line manager is not pleased with this at all and Essie is very upset when she overhears the line manger speaking with the HR manager in the coffee room. The line manager says that they should not have hired Essie and should have looked for a male graduate who will not have the same responsibilities. The line manager also mentions the promotion that is coming up for one graduate to become an assistant manager. The line manager mentions that because Essie is so busy and wants to leave work early, the promotion isn’t really suitable for her.

Unhappy after hearing the discussion between the line manager and the HR manager, Essie takes a few minutes alone in the file room. Harold, one of the senior associates is looking for a file on the shelves and asks Essie to hold the ladder for him as the ladder is old and tends to rock back and forth if not held by another person. Essay holds the ladder, but when one of the unsecured boxes falls from the shelf and hints Harold, both Harold and and the ladder fall on top of Essie, causing her to sprain her wrist. It is her right wrist and she she is right handed. It will make doing work very difficult for Essie and Essie is worried that this will give the line manager further reason to fire her.

While Harold is helping Essie with her sprained wrist he mentions that he is very upset with TSC as well. He tells Essie that he has been working at TSC for over fifteen years as a senior associate and was a junior associate and a graduate at TSC before that. Recently he has been told that due to a restructure, all senior associates have been stripped off their position and will just be associates. There will be four new executive associates that will take change of the four divisions of TSC. Harold is not pleased with as the new executive of their division is Nate. Harold and Nate went to university together and Harold became a senior associate while Nate was never promoted and moved jobs servers times. Nate will not be Harold’s supervisor and Harold will have to revert to the type of day-to-day activities of a junior associate. When Harold brought this up with the manager, the manger offered him the position and said if he didn’t want it then there were other who would. Harold has just received a notice of termination of employment. Essie tells Harold about her experience. Harold and Essie come to you for advise.

a) Essie would like to know:

i. about the hours and whether she should be required to stay longer

ii. about the comments made by the line manager regarding her positions and possible promotion

iii. Any claim she can make for her injury

iv. whether she can be fired for either bringing her brother to work, leaving at 5.30pm or because she is unable to to do her work with her injury

b) Harold would like to whether TSC is able to terminate his employment

Question 2 (15 marks)

a) How can an employer legitimately terminate employment and in what circumstances can the Fair Work Commission get involved in termination? When can the Court become involved?

b) How and under what Act are union members protected?

Question 3 (20 marks)

Freddy is a printer technician. He works very regularly for TSC. TSC has always been quite strict on when Freddy should work as the accountants need access to the printers during prime working times. Freddy always bring his own equipment as he has the right tools to fix any printer. Freddy often takes time off and let’s TSC know about this so they are aware. Freddy does not work for any other company and has two interns that he brings to the job in order to split up the work. Freddy has autonomy in the work he does and is very pleased that the company is willing to take responsibility for his work.

What characteristics does Freddy have as an employee and as a contractor? What is the significance of the Freddy being one or the other?


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