Thursday, 26 November 2015

Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership

Doing the Right Thing

Know in advance what you'd do.

© iStockphoto

We've seen some high profile ethical failures in the press in recent years. It will be hard to forget the devastation caused by accounting fraud at the investment company run by Bernard Madoff, or the earlier frauds at Enron and Worldcom. People have also raised ethical questions over the welfare of some organizations' staff and suppliers.

This highlights the extent to which it can be difficult for leaders to determine what's right and wrong. Some make the wrong choices – and end up in the news or in the courts.

What we rarely see, however, are stories about the numerous companies that are managed by ethical leaders. While standards seem to keep falling in some corporations, other leaders "raise the bar" and inspire their teams to do the same. These leaders do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. They put their ethics before the bottom line – and, as a result, they have dedicated teams that would do almost anything for them.

So how do they do this? And how can you do it as well? We'll show you how to define your own ethical standards – and start putting those standards into practice.

Define Your Organization's Values

To lead your team with character and integrity, you must set an example. You're the leader, remember? Your team looks to you. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization's values.

For example, the global technology giant 3M is well known for its company values. Why? Because the entire team – from top executives all the way down to the mailroom – live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day. 3M communicates clearly that it wants its staff to do things like keep promises, have personal accountability, and respect others in the workforce. Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. And as a result, everyone else follows.

Hopefully, your company has clear rules about how it wants team members to act. As a leader, it's up to you to know these rules and codes of conduct – and to make sure you enforce them. (Our in-depth article Why the Rules Are There can help you with this.)

Your personal values are also important. If the company's written rules don't say that you must be fair to everyone, but this value is important to you – then, of course, you're going to be fair.

Good leaders follow their personal values as well as organizational values.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What standards of behavior are really important to my company?
  • What specific values do I admire in certain leaders? Do I identify with those values?
  • Would I still live by those values, even if they put me at a competitive disadvantage?

Set the Tone

Now that you know your company's core values, you can begin to set the tone and create the right environment for your team and your organization. Again, leading by example is the best way to do this.

It's what you do, not what you say, that demonstrates to your team what you care about. So, if your company values honesty above all else, then make sure you demonstrate that by being honest with everyone around you. If your company values free speech, then make sure you allow your team to communicate their ideas openly.

Next, establish consequences for team members who don't follow corporate values. If you allow someone to come in late continuously without making up the hours, that won't set a good example for the rest of the team.

You need good consequences as well. Set up some kind of reward system for team members who consistently act according to the company values.

Storytelling is a great way to reinforce and communicate these values. If you know of team members – or even clients – who acted ethically in difficult situations, then tell their stories. This shows your staff that they can do it as well. To learn more, see our article on the art of business storytelling.

By getting your team interested in ethical conduct, you communicate how important these values are to both you and your organization.

Recognize Ethical Dilemmas

Here's the scenario: You're in a meeting with other top executives, and you realize that one of your colleagues has changed the numbers in his report.

As you listen, you realize that he's exaggerating how well his team is doing on a major project. Instead of saying that his team will finish in eight weeks, which he previously told you, he's promising to be done in only five weeks. And instead of saying that the project will help increase company earnings by 4%, which he also told you earlier, he's promising a 12% increase.

What do you do? He's a close colleague and a personal friend. On the other hand, he's overstating how well his team is doing. Do you support him, or do you tell the truth to the other executives?

We're often faced with tough choices like this in the workplace. Most of the time, however, ethical dilemmas aren't this obvious, and they can be hidden in ways that are hard to uncover.

So, how do you recognize these dilemmas?

  • Identify "trigger" situations – Certain situations seem to attract ethical dilemmas. Some of these are areas like purchasing, hiring, firing, promoting, and calculating bonuses.

    There can also be other unexpected situations. You could make a mistake – will you admit it to your boss, or try to cover it up? Or you could discover that a colleague is acting unethically – do you protect the person or tell someone?

    By recognizing when these situations might occur, you can make the right decisions when and if something actually happens.

  • Prepare in advance – Imagine yourself in the situations we just mentioned. What would you do if you knew one of your colleagues was about to be fired, but you weren't legally allowed to tell her?

    Putting yourself in these imaginary situations can help you work through your feelings and decide what you would do if the situation occurred. In real life, you may have only seconds to reach a decision. Of course, you won't be able to imagine every possible ethical dilemma you might face, but this exercise WILL help you get to know your values, and it can prepare you for the decisions you may have to make.

  • Listen to your "inner voice" – Your conscience often tells you that something isn't right, even if this is just a feeling of uneasiness with something. If you face a situation that makes you uncomfortable, or goes against one of your core values or beliefs, then make sure that you stop and think things through rationally.
  • Reevaluate your decision before you act – If you're in a difficult situation and you aren't sure what to do, make a decision. But, before you act on that decision, ask yourself how you would feel if your actions were in the company newsletter or on the evening news for everyone to see. Would you be proud of what you did? If not, then reconsider your decision.

When in Doubt...

At times, you'll make a decision but still wonder if you did the right thing. You may be uncomfortable, but these situations can teach you to trust yourself and your instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction.

Key Points

Ethical living – and leading – takes courage and conviction. It means doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn't popular or easy. But when you make decisions based on your core values, then you tell the world that you can't be bought – and you lead your team by example.

Once you identify your company's core values as well as your own, you can start to set the tone with your team and your organization. Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you do as you would wish others to do.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Prosecution ordered to disclose full criminal history of witnesses and victims

The recent ex tempore decision of Justice McMeekin in The Queen v Stanley Stanley Jnr [2015] QSC 327 has resolved the issue of whether or not the prosecution must disclose full criminal histories of witnesses, and deceased persons who are allegedly the victims of murder, to the defence. His Honour determined that the obligation to provide all documents to the defendant which might reasonably assist in his or her defence over-rides any rights of witnesses or deceased persons to prevent old offences being brought to light. His Honour found that the operation of s590 AB of the Criminal Code did not prevent the disclosure of old offences, including spent offences.

The full decision can be read here.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Monday, 23 November 2015

Evidence is "adjectival", as distinct from "substantive" law.....

Did you ever wonder what the secret to winning a court case is?

This last sentence here might give you an advantage next time you're preparing your brief or taking notes about a workplace incident.


Contemporaneous notes will be weighted far more heavily by a decision maker than hearsay evidence. 

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Workers First's Job Ready Initiative Underway




As part of our commitment to ensuring workers get great benefits from their membership of Workers First, our Job Ready team and Danielle Newman​ have started work on uploading the latest Gloweave and DNC Workwear range for members to purchase at greatly discounted prices. Here's one of the first products we've uploaded today and the rest will be added to our website over the next couple of weeks.

Obviously this isn't our core business, but we see great benefits in making these products available to clients and members at special rates because after all, we believe in the concept of "workers first".

In the coming weeks, will also be adding a large range of high quality suits and corporate attire, again offered at hugely discounted prices to benefit Workers First members.

The Workers First Job Ready initiative is helping to create local jobs in South East Queensland as the business continues to evolve.

Help us to help you. If you have any special requests for workwear or corporate and formal attire, please contact jobready@workersfirst.com.au or call 07 3807 3807 and speak with Danielle Newman.


Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.



Saturday, 21 November 2015

CFMEU Bowen Hills Office Raided



A troubled week for the CFMEU this week as the raids a set to continue if their court action fails. 

Destruction of documents in this current context would be a serious crime.

Let's hope justice is preserved and a just outcome delivered.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

FREE Membership Card For All Prison Officers


 Membership cards have been commissioned and there's enough for every Prison Officer in Australia.

Register your FREE APOA Membership and start contributing to the improvement of our industry.

Remember, you will need to join Workers First to enjoy the full benefits of industrial advocacy and representation, it is not compulsory, but it's highly recommended to ensure you get effective and efficient advocacy and representation when you need it most and for just $1 a day, it's more affordable than anything else in the market.

Non members of Workers First will be charged for services they use in the event advocacy and representation is required. 

We want all Prison Officers actively engaging in industry reforms and public campaigns to improve the working conditions of Prison Officers.

Join Workers First General Membership Today for Just $1 a Day.


Every Prison Officer MUST Watch This...





Incarceration: A VICE Panel, Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2015


The video has a number of comments by the guest speakers that will both resonate and offend Prison Officers, nevertheless, we think this is a video that must be watched by all Prison Officers to promote active engagement in our industry issues.

Please leave your comments on our blog at the end of the video.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Cherti v Queensland Rail [2014] QIRC 220 - Opportunity to Respond

Opportunity to respond
A decision maker should not make a decision by having regard to undisclosed material being adverse information that was credible, relevant and significant to the decision to be made without first bringing the material to the attention of the relevant person. See Cherti v Queensland Rail [2014] QIRC 220 at [21].

"it's a whole new world of representation"


Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



FREE Membership Cards - APOA Members



This month we will be distributing FREE Membership cards to all Prison Officers who have signed up to the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA).

Once you receive your card, please follow the instructions to register your card and membership number.

The card will include helpful guide on what to do and what not to do if you're invited to an interview.

"it's a whole new world of representation"

Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



Parker v Secretary Department of Education and Communities [2015] NSWIRComm 1020

Court Provided Information: WORKPLACE AND EMPLOYMENT LAW – Unfair dismissal – Jurisdiction – Dismissal – When resignation can be regarded as dismissal for purposes of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) – Constructive dismissal – Determination of whether a termination was in fact a constructive dismissal to be arrived at by a transactional analysis – Ultimatum provided – No negotiations after ultimatum provided – Dismissal – Jurisdiction lies.

LEGISLATION CITED: Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW)


Brian Newman said, "this is something we see far too often in today's workplaces. I was just talking to a client yesterday who was telling about her unfair dismissal circumstances and in part, there was a disturbing account of being threatened with criminal charges if she did not sign a 'form' acknowledging she had assaulted a coworker and that she was going to accept a first and final warning for the incident. This is utterly unacceptable that a worker should be placed in this situation. The assault never occurred, the worker didn't know her rights and now we hear about it far too late to be of any real assistance."

Workers First is available to assist all workers in all industries with workplace matters and membership has never been more affordable and flexible.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.



Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: 151111CA-5475

Transport Workers' Union (NSW) v Toll Transport Pty Ltd (t/as Toll Contract Logistics) [2015] NSWIRComm 36

Court Provided Information: EMPLOYMENT LAW – Contract of carriage – Application for reinstatement of contract – Applicable principles – Whether "harsh, unjust or unreasonable" – Unconfined discretion – Informed by subject matter, scope and purpose of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) – Serious misconduct as grounds for termination – Allegedly driving dangerously and unlawfully – Behaviour in breach of Road Rules 2014 (NSW) – Civil standard by virtue of nature of proceedings – Unlawful behaviour – Allegedly untruthful when questioned by management – Applicant was truthful as to knowledge of dashcam – Applicant was untruthful as to frequency and mode of use of horn – Whether damage or potential damage to respondent's reputation – Driving conduct could cause reputational damage to respondent – Broad submission that applicant being untruthful during investigation could lead to damage or potential damage to respondent's reputation – The Commission should not speculate on potential reputational damage to respondent in this manner – Failing to provide a satisfactory mitigating response – Applicant provided adequate opportunity to respond – Applicant not a credible witness – Justifiable basis for termination – Process of investigation was fair – Decision to terminate was reasonable and proportionate – Circumstances not harsh – Application dismissed.

LEGISLATION CITED: Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) s 140(2); Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) ss 314, 315; Road Rules 2014 (NSW) r 224


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Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: 151112CA-0596

Whyalla Steelworks to Axe About 250 Jobs

ADELAIDE, Nov 16 AAP - About 250 jobs will be lost at Arrium's steelworks in Whyalla as the company seeks to cut costs.

The company says the jobs will go over the next six to eight months and will include about 200 workers employed directly by Arrium and up to 50 contractors.

It says all workers affected will receive their full entitlements, including redundancy payments and other services including counselling and help to find new work.

"All employees will be treated fairly and respectfully throughout this process," Arrium said on Monday.

The latest job cuts follow the loss of 55 positions last month and bring the company's identified savings to $60 million, still about $40 million short of its target.

It says the Whyalla operations continue to be put under pressure by a global oversupply of steel.

Chief executive of steel Steve Hamer says Arrium remains focused on reaching its savings target as quickly as possible and certainly by June next year.

But he has not indicated if that could mean more job losses.

"We remain committed to delivering a viable and competitive Whyalla business which benefits our stakeholders, including our local community and state," Mr Hamer said.

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said low world iron ore prices were to blame for the job losses.

"Terrible news for steel workers at Arrium in Whyalla today. If there was something we could do about international iron ore prices we would," Mr Koutsantonis tweeted on Monday.

Join Workers First Today for Just $1 a Day.


Source: Thompson Reuters Alert: Ref: 151117CA-6756

Contractor Dies at WA Mine Site

PERTH, Nov 16 AAP - A 28-year-old man has died at a West Australian gold mine after becoming unwell, prompting work to be suspended at Paulsens Gold Mine in the Pilbara region.

In a statement provided to the ASX, Northern Star Resources Limited said it was assisting authorities in their investigation and confirmed no other workers were involved in the incident.

"Northern Star Directors, management and staff extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the man's family, friends and colleagues at this tragic time," the company said.

A Department of Mines and Petroleum spokeswoman told AAP two inspectors were expected to be sent to the mine on Monday afternoon.

A Police spokeswoman said the death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be prepared for a coroner.


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Tip For Getting a Promotion

'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have'. 

Join Workers First today for just $1 a day.



Sunday, 15 November 2015

Victorian Prison Officers Join APOA and Workers First

There continues to be strong growth in the Prison Officers sector of Workers First membership and the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA).

Membership of the APOA is FREE and ensures the flow of information and public education on the issues of concern to Prison Officer's profession, social and welfare interests remain relevant and evolutionary. 

Join the APOA and Workers First today for just $1 a day.

Join the APOA today FREE - Join Now


Follow @PrisonOfficers on Twitter
Like /Australian-Prison-Officers-Association on Facebook 





Workers First Diary Tip #1

Always carry a diary or note book and pen with you at work.


"Good records: Good defence; 
Bad records: Bad defence; 
No records: No defence".

Keep a work diary with shifts you work, incidents and adverse actions concerning you or your colleagues and never throw a diary away. 

Join Workers First today for just $1 a day.





Saturday, 14 November 2015

Workers First Blog

Workers First invites you to follow our new Blog (http://workersfirstblog.blogspot.com.au/) to keep up with the latest news and events concerning Workers First members.

Your support is vital to the relevance of Workers First, as is your membership.

Together with Workers First, you can help make a difference in the working lives of Australian's everywhere by ensuring effective and efficient representation remains available through Workers First's membership.

If you're not already a member, please join today. At just $1 a day, a Workers First membership may be the very thing that protects you in the workplace from an adverse action.

Remember to follow our new Blog and keep up to date with the latest news.

We Build Relationships With Reputable Law Firms

Getting it right the first time is important for workers in workplace matters.

At Workers First we invest in relationships with reputable law firms with similar values to us.

This week Workers First has been out at Carter Capner Law's Browns Plains office fostering stronger relations through advocacy for our members and the important issues which confront them daily.

Contact us today if you need any assistance with your workplace matter or if you'd like to join Workers First for just $1 a day.

gethelp@workersfirst.com.au | 07 3807 3807 | www.workersfirst.com.au


Friday, 6 November 2015

Two Men Die at Work

Workplace Health & Safety is no joke. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may well be a pain at times, some procedures may seem unnecessary and at times redundant and boring, but when the alternative is real injury or death in the workplace at the cost of your family and friends, don't you think it might be worth playing by the rules?


Digby v Compass Institute Inc [2015] QSC 308

Court Provided Information: TORTS – Negligence – Essentials of action for negligence – Standard of care – Particular persons and situations – Other cases – Where the first defendant was an incorporated business providing disability services to young people – Where the plaintiff was an employee of the first defendant – Where the second defendant was the employer of a police officer, who attended at the first defendant’s premises to give a presentation to its clients – Where, during the course of that presentation, the police officer turned on the siren of a police vehicle, which caused a client with physical and intellectual disabilities to startle and fall – Where the plaintiff attempted to arrest his fall and, in doing so, suffered an injury to her right shoulder – Where the plaintiff subsequently appeared to develop a constant tremor in her right hand and arm, along with severe pain throughout her right upper body – Whether the first defendant had breached the duty of care owed as an employer by failing to provide a safe system of work – Whether the second defendant owed a duty of care – Whether the second defendant had breached any duty of care owed by failing to give a warning before turning on the siren.

TORTS – Negligence – Essentials of action for negligence – Damage – Causation – Other cases – Where the first defendant was an incorporated business providing disability services to young people – Where the plaintiff was an employee of the first defendant – Where the second defendant was the employer of a police officer, who attended at the first defendant’s premises to give a presentation to its clients – Where, during the course of that presentation, the police officer turned on the siren of a police vehicle, which caused a client with physical and intellectual disabilities to startle and fall – Where the plaintiff attempted to arrest his fall and, in doing so, suffered an injury to her right shoulder – Where the plaintiff subsequently appeared to develop a constant tremor in her right hand and arm, along with severe pain throughout her right upper body – To what extent had the plaintiff suffered injury.

DAMAGES – Measure and remoteness of damages in actions for tort – Remoteness and causation – Proof of causation – Where the first defendant was an incorporated business providing disability services to young people – Where the plaintiff was an employee of the first defendant – Where the second defendant was the employer of a police officer, who attended at the first defendant’s premises to give a presentation to its clients – Where, during the course of that presentation, the police officer turned on the siren of a police vehicle, which caused a client with physical and intellectual disabilities to startle and fall – Where the plaintiff attempted to arrest his fall and, in doing so, suffered an injury to her right shoulder – Where the plaintiff subsequently appeared to develop a constant tremor in her right hand and arm, along with severe pain throughout her right upper body – To what extent was the first defendant liable for costs of the plaintiff’s medical treatment, rehabilitation and medication.

LEGISLATION CITED: Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld); Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) rr 5(1), 375(1)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Today Is Your Day....

Today is my day, I own my day, rise, shine and conquer. Do what I wish to get what I want, cruel no one, celebrate none too early and stay the course. Today is my day, I own my day, rise, shine and conquer.