Saturday, 26 May 2018

Labour Hire Workers Dismissal Found to be Fair in the Fair Work Commission

Brian Newman - Director of Investigations & Advocacy

In Pettifer v MODEC Management Services Pty Ltd, a Full Bench of the FWC found that a labour hire employee was validly dismissed for lack of capacity after the host business requested his removal from a project.

Since the employee had been specifically engaged to perform work for the host, the Full Bench concluded that his removal from the project rendered him unable to perform the inherent requirements of the position.
Unlike in Kool v Adecco, the contract in Pettifer unequivocally provided the host with the right to exclude an agency worker from its workplace.

Further, the agency in Pettifer did not merely endorse the employer’s decision as occurred in Kool v Adecco.

Instead, the agency conducted its own investigation and formed the independent conclusion that the employee had not done anything which warranted dismissal, even though it was contractually required to follow the host’s direction to remove the employee.

The agency also made a genuine attempt to find the employee alternative work.

This is another case where the worker has fallen victim to the perils of a complex system of outsourcing employment, thereby effectively robbing the worker of access to workplace justice and fairness in the manner in which they are dealt with.

Monday, 5 February 2018

2017-2018 High Income Threshold

High income threshold

The high income threshold will increase to $142,000 per annum, effective 1 July 2017. The previous threshold was $138,900 per annum until 30 June 2016.

The high income threshold is the amount by which a category of non-award employee is excluded from the unfair dismissal provisions of the Fair Work Act, and in relation to the guarantee of annual earnings relating to modern awards.

The increase in the threshold affects a number of different provisions under the Fair Work Act, including:
  • an award/agreement-free employee’s eligibility to claim unfair dismissal
  • the maximum amount of compensation of six months' earnings that the Fair Work Commission can order an employer to pay to an employee deemed to have been unfairly dismissed, and
  • the level an employer can guarantee an employee’s earnings which renders the provisions of the applicable modern award no longer applicable to the employee.

What does this mean for you?

Effectively, this will not effect the majority of Australian workers, however, if you find your self in the unfortunate situation of exceeding the high income threshold and you feel that you have been unfairly dealt with in the workplace, please contact our office on 07 3807 3807 or email