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High-income employee not protected from unfair dismissal as not covered by Award

The Fair Work Commission found this former employee, who was the Head of Estimating and Project Controls for Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd, did not have protection from unfair dismissal and accordingly could not bring such a claim. This former employee exceeded the ‘high income threshold’ for an unfair dismissal claim. The ‘high income threshold’ at the time was $148,700 per annum. This employee had a gross annual remuneration (including superannuation) of $238,760.05 and also had a company phone plus unlimited free public transport in Victoria.   Despite the employee’s annual earnings significantly exceeding the ‘high income threshold’ for an unfair dismissal claim, the employee argued that he was covered by an award and therefore able to pursue an unfair dismissal claim regardless of the extent of his remuneration. The award coverage issue The former employee argued his employment was covered by ...

30 April 2020

A falsified medical certificate – does this warrant dismissal?

Facts This case concerned an unfair dismissal claim. After the employee’s dismissal, when looking at the former employee’s work emails, the employer realised the employee had a job interview for a date when she had produced a medical certificate to use paid personal leave for her absence that day. Through further investigation, ‘the medical certificate was found to have been falsified’ by the former employee.  At first instance, it was decided that the former employee was unfairly dismissed notwithstanding the concession by the employee that she did in fact falsify the medical certificate. The employer appealed that decision. In the appeal, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission ultimately refused the employer permission to appeal but made some important observations in relation to falsified medical certificates.  In its decision, the Full Bench explained that the past case law relied upon by the employer did &ls...

30 December 2019

The importance of an employer keeping records of hours worked

This case is an appeal heard by the Federal Court. The matter involved two employees who argued that they had worked ‘long hours’ for which they were not paid. The employer could not provide records of the hours worked by the employees. By contrast, the employees provided evidence of the hours which were alleged to have been worked ‘in handwritten schedules’ which they claimed were based on contemporaneous records they had kept.  The Federal Court observed that the requirement on an employer to keep records ‘are an important part of the protections afforded by the Fair Work Act’ on employees. Section 557C of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) In this case, a key issue was the implications of s.557C of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).  Briefly stated, that section provides that when an employee alleges that an employer breached certain provisions of the legislation or an industrial instru...

4 October 2019