BUSM4591 – Employment Law – Assessment #2 – Report

You have started working in the HR department of Grey Matter Pty Ltd (GM Pty Ltd), whose head office is
based in Melbourne, Victoria.
GM Pty Ltd has 374 employees across Australia, the majority of the employees, and all of the employees
relevant to this report, work in the head office.
GM Pty Ltd has been in operation since 1 January 2012 and has grown significantly in size over the last
three years.
There is no industry award that covers the employees, however all of the clerical employees in Australia are
covered by the Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 (
2 Issues to be resolved
The HR Director, Pat Wong, has welcomed you and has asked you to investigate and advise on the
following issues:
Tracey Tan has asked for a pay review. She has been on $17 per hour as a casual employee for 12
months now, and while she acknowledges she is still junior in her role (she is the casual/relief
receptionist) she feels she has proven herself to be a great team player and would like this
acknowledged in her pay. She also believes that her current hourly rate is lower than the award rate
for her role and age. She is 19 years old.
Tom Davis has requested flexible working arrangements by way of letter to the HR Director. The
letter indicates that his daughter has recently returned to work and he would like to look after her son
(his grandson) one day a week to help her adjust back to work. He is happy to be flexible with what
day of the week it might be. Tom is 64 years old. The letter was received two weeks ago but the HR
Director has not yet provided a response. Tom’s line manager has indicated that this could be
difficult to manage within his business unit (although not impossible) and so wants to know what his
obligations are in relation to consideration of the request.
c) The Accounts department has recently needed to reduce their headcount (employee numbers)
following the introduction of an automated system for the scanning of receipts and invoices. As a
result two employees need final employment payments made to them this week. Their details are as
a. Cheryl Banks, start date 1 January 2017.
b. Patrick Sands, start date 3 February 2014.
Please advise on the entitlements that need to be paid to these employees on termination, noting
that both employees’ roles have been made redundant.

Graduate School of Business & Law
BUSM4506: Assessment #2
Page 2 of 2
d) Melissa Wren, a recent candidate for the payroll manager role, has contacted the HR department
with a complaint that she believes she was discriminated against on the basis of her union
membership. She has highlighted that when she participated in the initial telephone interview, the
indication was that she was very well suited for the role and that her credentials were very good.
When she arrived for the interview she was made to feel very welcome and the interview started
well. She was told that there was only one other candidate being interviewed. However, she felt
that the mood of the interview shifted when she revealed that she was a union member and hoped
that the company was a union friendly workplace. She also noted that when she asked questions
about current pay structures and award compliance approach the manager conducting the interview
(the HR Director), refused to answer the questions and indicated that this would be a matter to be
discussed with the successful candidate. Melissa was interviewed three weeks ago and has not had
any contact from the HR Department since the interview. The HR Director has put a hand-written
note on the complaint as follows:
Our preferred candidate is Agnes, she has verbally accepted our offer but as she hasn’t
returned the contract we were trying to keep Melissa warm (not very successfully) until we
knew either way. The reason we chose Agnes is because she has the most experience with
our current payroll system. Melissa interviewed well, unfortunately half way through the
meeting I felt physically ill (I was home sick for the following two days vomiting) so the mood
probably changed around the time I started to feel ill. We have a number of union members
here and have had no negative dealings with the union. Award compliance is an area for
concern however and an area we need to address with you now on board and with the new
Payroll Manager. Please consider the best way to approach this issue with Melissa to avoid
further issue or a claim, but please also identify the type of claim Melissa may be able to
bring against us.
3 Instructions for report
Address the report to the HR Director. The style and approach is up to you, but remember this is in a
business context, and the communication will need to be confidential and professional.
Each section is to be no more than 500 words. You will be assessed in part on your ability to provide a clear
and concise articulation of the issue and suggested way forward, so avoid being verbose.
There is no further research required beyond the course materials, and beyond looking at the Clerks Private
Sector Award 2010, which you can access via the Fair Work Commission website.
The report is worth 40% of your overall mark, and will be assessed as follows:

Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the key
areas of law relating to the issues, and practical
application of this knowledge.
Accuracy and appropriateness of advice.
Communication, expression and correct use of