From the Principal’s Desk – Fabbro Talks (September 2023)

Welcome to the September edition of our Newsletter and the start of spring!

The last month has seen me enjoy a short break in sunny Queensland where I stocked up on some much-needed vitamin D. I have returned to some fairly nice spring weather, although I’m conscious our many farming clients would quite appreciate some more rain … and fast.

July has had me wading through the vagaries of the Fair Work Act and contemplating how Judges can interpret what are seemingly simple and clear words in the most convoluted and complex ways; it becomes a bit exasperating sometimes.

With Federal politicians and State Governments using the term ‘wage theft’ ad nauseum and introducing laws to jail people for not paying worker’s correctly, at the coal face, if they drafted legislation, and even more importantly Awards, that didn’t require mental gymnastic performances to understand, there might be less ‘wage theft’ and happier employers and employees.

Whilst some employers clearly seek to take advantage of vulnerable employees and they should be rightly punished, I have seen some employers trying to genuinely comply and help staff to only find some ‘clever’ union representative suggest they have failed to observe some technical aspect of an Award resulting in an underpayment.

I’d be happy to have to spend less time trying to work out the technical anomalies and less time consoling poor clients who are on the receiving end from time to time.

Anyway, in this month’s newsletter we discuss some strategies for preparing your business for sale. Preparing for sale what can be the result of a life’s work and realising valuable asset to capitalise upon for your retirement, should be approached with planning.

Good preparation and planning can not only maximise your sale price but may also avoid the pitfalls of disputes post-settlement. Transparency in the due diligence process and working toward a successful transition of the business will ultimately be good for both seller and buyer.

We also discuss the increase in penalties for breaching unfair contract terms. Somewhat topical given the current storm around Qantas who are being called to account for what appears to be some disturbing business practices.

As I finalise my note, Alan Joyce’s time at the top of Qantas has been brought forward. A departure that many a customer will hope ushers in a new period of cultural change at our flagship airline and brings significant customer facing improvements.

It has been quite extraordinary to see the level of deception that has accompanied the recent discussion around the quantum of customer refunds that Qantas currently hold … is it $370M; $470M or $520M?? It appears to depend upon who you ask and how specifically you ask the question … sadly lacking in transparency there!!

I hope you all enjoy a great month of September and really hope there are some significant rainfall events as soon as possible to help those crops that need a drink right now to flourish.

If you have any questions or concerns in areas where we may be able to assist, feel free to give us a call, as we say… we’re here to help!

For information on the range of commercial legal advice and services that we provide, head to:

Michael Fabbro

Practice Principal

Ezra Legal

Michael Fabbro


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