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Mondelez has been ‘overturned’ – High Court confirms approach to calculating personal/carer's leave

In welcome news for employers, the High Court has today overturned the Full Federal Court’s decision in Mondelez. By majority, the High Court rejected the ‘working day’ construction adopted by the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. The majority judgement of the High Court decision said that the “the expression '10 days' in s.96(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) means an amount of paid personal/carer's leave accruing for every year of service equivalent to an employee's ordinary hours of work in a week over a two-week (fortnightly) period, or 1/26 of the employee's ordinary hours of work in a year. A 'day' for the purposes of s.96(1) refers to a 'notional day', consisting of one-tenth of the equivalent of an employee's ordinary hours of work in a two-week (fortnightly) period.” In short, the High Court has determined that a permanent employee’s entitlement to personal/car...

13 August 2020

Changes to the unfair dismissal remuneration cap, national minimum wage, minimum award rates and filing fees

Introduction New award rates, unfair dismissal thresholds and other changes in the employment arena have been announced, some of which commence from 1 July 2020 (please see below regarding the commencement dates for award rates). These are some of the main changes. Unfair dismissal threshold (high income threshold) and maximum compensation cap The high income threshold will increase from the previous $148,700 to $153,600 from 1 July 2020. This means employees whose annual rate of earnings is $153,600 (which excludes statutory superannuation) or more, and who are not covered by an award or enterprise agreement, are unable to pursue an unfair dismissal application. The change also means that the maximum compensation that can be awarded for an unfair dismissal claim will increase from $74,350 to $76,800. National minimum wage The national minimum wage has increase to $753.80 pe...

1 July 2020

High cost for an employer breaching the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act

Background In an earlier judgement, the Court found that Macquarie University had contravened the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) by making a former employee redundant because the former employee had made complaints about her direct report. The University had also failed to redeploy the former employee to available roles. The Court was satisfied that the reason for this failure was also due to the complaints the employee had made and that the failure also amounted to a breach of the applicable Enterprise Agreement. Having made the initial findings in favour of the aggrieved employee, the Court, in a subsequent decision, considered the issue of remedies and that decision provides some good guidance on the matters that a Court may take into account when determining the appropriate remedies in a general protections matter. Reinstatement Importantly, the Court reiterated ...

8 May 2020