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FWC Annual Report 2021-22

The Fair Work Commission’s 2021-22 Annual Report The Fair Work Commission’s 2021-22 Annual Report available here includes several noteworthy points. We have summarised some key points below. During the 2021-22 year: there were 34,122 applications lodged with the FWC including Supported Wage System agreements not previously counted, compared to 29,631 applications in 2020-21. The following graph summarises the types of applications lodged with the FWC: 50% of applications were finalised within 5 weeks of lodgment and 90% were finalised within 13 weeks of lodgment; less than 0.5% of decisions handed down were successfully appealed; and two new jurisdictions were implemented – the expansion of the anti-bullying jurisdiction to include orders to stop sexual harassment and the dealing with disputes relating to casual conversion.   The following table provides a comparison between the years 2021-22 and...

28 October 2022

Employer’s failed attempt to avoid redundancy pay on grounds of obtaining other acceptable employment for employees

Introduction In an appeal to a Full Bench of the FWC, a labour hire company (the Company) that lost a particular contract and argued it had obtained other acceptable employment for employees with the incoming provider (Programmed) was unsuccessful in having its redundancy pay obligations reduced to nil. Legislation Section 120 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) provides that on application by an employer  the FWC may reduce an employee’s NES redundancy pay entitlement to a specified amount (which may be nil) that the FWC considers appropriate where: an employee has a NES redundancy pay entitlement; and the employer obtains other acceptable employment for the employee (which is what the Company argued in this case) or the employer cannot pay the amount.   Case law In the Full Bench decis...

6 October 2022

$600,000 penalty for company’s boycott of subcontractor without an EBA following union’s industrial action threats

Introduction Waterproofing Industries Qld Pty Ltd (WPI/the subcontractor) entered into a subcontract with J Hutchinson Pty Ltd (Hutchinson/the Company) to perform certain waterproofing works at a particular construction project called the Southpoint project. The subcontractor did not have a CFMMEU enterprise agreement (EA) and the CFMMEU complained that it was not consulted prior to the business being engaged. Shortly after, the CFMMEU threatened to engage in industrial action if Hutchinson allowed the subcontractor to continue working on the Southpoint project. As a result of the CFMMEU’s threats, Hutchinson capitulated and the subcontractor was excluded from the site and subsequently had its subcontract terminated. Contraventions of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) The Court found Hutchinson contravened s 45E(3) of the Competition...

5 September 2022