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Is there a ‘genuine redundancy’? Distinguishing ‘duties’ versus ‘the job’

An employee’s unfair dismissal claim was unsuccessful as the Fair Work Commission found there was a ‘genuine redundancy’. Job not required In determining whether there was a ‘genuine redundancy’ the Commission first considered whether ‘…the person’s employer no longer required the person’s job to be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of the employer’s enterprise…’. The employer asserted the redundancy was necessary due to its new product sales having fallen by 15% and its product servicing revenue by 15.7%. It was further contended by the employer that it considered the ‘commercial challenges at hand’ and the ‘sustainability of the business’ in deciding to undertake a reorganisation of the employee’s duties which were distributed amongst several other employees. The employer did not deny that some of these duties wer...

15 July 2019

1 July 2019 changes to the unfair dismissal remuneration cap

Introduction New award rates, thresholds and other changes in the employment arena commence from 1 July 2019. The following article briefly summarises the main changes that employers should be aware of. Unfair dismissal threshold (high income threshold) and maximum compensation cap The high-income threshold will increase from the previous $145,400 to $148,700 from 1 July 2019. This means employees whose annual rate of earnings is $148,700 (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 $72,700 to $74,350. National minimum wage The national minimum wage will increase to $740.80 per week or by $19.49 per hour (calculated on the basis of a 38-hour week for ...

24 June 2019

Unfair dismissal claim fails due to the calculation of an employee’s earnings

In a recent case, the Fair Work Commission held that an employee (Mr Maloney) was not entitled to bring an unfair dismissal claim as his income had exceeded the ‘high income threshold’ by $315.02. In this case, the employee’s income, as calculated by the Fair Work Commission, included a portion of the employee’s annual leave loading, fuel allowance and mobile phone entitlements. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) says that an employee who is not covered by an award or enterprise agreement does not receive protection from unfair dismissal if their income exceeds the threshold, currently at $145,400 per annum. In this case, the issue was whether the employee’s entitlements to annual leave loading, fuel allowance and a mobile phone were to be included in his earnings. Regarding the annual leave loading, the Commission found that the full amount of annual leave loading should be included in the calculation of earnings in this case. The Commi...

15 May 2019