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The High Court has begun hearing an employer's appeal over personal leave entitlements, which has potential application to all employees working non-standard shifts. Also in this article: a roundup of dismissal rulings and JobKeeper disputes; extensions to COVID-19 award changes; and more.

Employers are now paying much more attention to how they manage sick leave, an area that has traditionally been quite ad hoc, says Hall & Wilcox partner Fay Calderone. "The perception around sick leave being a weakness, or selfish, may have crept into workplace cultures... but now we're seeing that flipped on its head."

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Communicating to employees how organisations have performed over the past financial year – even if it's bad – can help build their sense of purpose and engagement. This will be crucial to avoiding an exodus when the job market turns, says Employment Hero chief people officer Alex Hattingh.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted employee experience from being an initiative to a "crusade", says HR analyst Josh Bersin, adding that the pandemic will have long-term business impacts but it won't be the last crisis organisations suffer from, "so the organisational response has to be resilient".

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Returning to workplaces is going to be challenging for different personality types in distinct ways, says 2OP Health director Dr Frank Chow. It will be important to monitor how employees are adjusting to the transition, as time spent working from home might lead to some behavioural issues on re-entry.

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Many organisations have good intentions around workforce mobility but lack the required strategy and culture, says consultant Janine Belcher. And Telstra GM organisational development Liz Ranieri says her organisation's talent mobility program has required big changes to its job titles, roles and skills descriptions.