The team at McNab McNab & Starke has put together this newsletter of recent legal news in Victoria. These digestible, bite-sized news updates help you keep up with the latest in Victorian law. This edition covers recent legal news from circa April and May 2022.

Fair Work Supports Paid Domestic Violence Leave

Around 2.66 million Australian workers could soon have access to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave, after a decision by the fair work commission. It follows an internal review that lasted around a year into the current policy which allows for five days of unpaid leave.

Private Courtrooms Fast-Track Property Settlements

A growing number of separating couples are seeking their own private courtrooms to fast-track divorce matters, including outsourcing property settlements to private arbitrators. The normalisation of using videoconferencing technologies during COVID-19 has enabled clients to outsource property settlements to a private arbitrator as a more efficient and affordable option to resolve their disputes.

Roofing Scam Affects Elderly Victorians

Three men who scammed more than $434,000 out of elderly Victorians as part of an elaborate roofing scam have been sentenced to prison. These men approached homeowners in wealthy Melbourne suburbs such as Kew, Hawthorn and Camberwell, pretending to be contractors and offering to fix perceived faults in their roofs. Once they agreed, the men would remove roof tiles before repeatedly noticing other spurious issues and increasing the cost of repairs.

Calls to Protect Underpaid Migrant Workers

Around 80 international students were recently underpaid by a cleaning company that went into liquidation and set up under a new name a short time later. It is a practice known as phoenixing, where companies go into liquidation to avoid paying debts, such as entitlements owed to staff.

Those employers often threaten to report workers to the Department of Immigration with trumped-up visa breaches to prevent workers from acting against the company. Employment Rights Legal Service suggests much better protections are needed for these workers.

Solicitor Sues Her Job for Giving Her PTSD

Solicitor Zagi Kozarov’s job at Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) came with a heavy workload and extremely confronting subject matter. It involved prosecuting serious sex offences and observing graphic images as evidence. After 2 years, she became so mentally unwell she could no longer work.

In April 2022, the High Court unanimously awarded a $435,000 damages payout to Ms Kozarov for the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) she suffered as a result of working in the sex crimes unit for the OPP. The decision has significant implications regarding who is responsible when there’s a psychiatric, rather than a physical, injury at work.

Experienced Team of Lawyers in Melbourne

Contact the team at McNab McNab & Starke if you require legal services in Melbourne. We are a long established Victorian legal firm with a distinguished record of service covering more than 100 years across a broad range of legal disciplines. Contact us today by calling us on 03 9670 9691. You can also contact the team by using our online contact form.