News and events:

Cashing out annual leave

On 29 July 2016 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) updated 112 modern workplace awards to allow workers to choose to cash out some of their annual leave. The changes will allow workers to cash in 2 weeks of leave per 12-month period, and has sparked discussions about the impact on work-life balance. Click here to read more.

Networking event – Perth Young Professionals

Date: Wednesday 31 August

Time: 5.45pm arrival for a 6pm start

Venue: State Library of Western Australia Theatre, 25 Francis St, Perth

Cost:
Members $25
Non-members $35

To read more about the event, click here.

Recent decision of interest:

Perth employer ordered to pay a $25,500 penalty for breaching general protection / adverse action provisions

Universal Crane Hire Pty Ltd (UCH) has been ordered to pay a penalty of $25,500 to the CFMEU for terminating the employment of a mobile crane operator for reasons including that he made a complaint about the payment of a crane allowance and unpaid overtime penalties.

The operator was dismissed after making a complaint to the effect that employees of UCH were entitledto be paid overtime penalties on the crane allowance under the relevant enterprise agreement, and that such penalties were not being paid. The UCH did not seek to rebut the presumption under s.361 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) that it terminated the mobile crane operator for making this complaint.

Judge Lucev characterised UCH’s contravention of s.340 (1)(a)(ii) of the FW Act as serious and falling at the “middle level of seriousness”. As the termination of the mobile crane operator’s employment occurred in aggravating circumstances, the Court held that the penalty agreed by the parties (which was 50% of the maximum) was an appropriate assessment of the seriousness of the contravention.

At the time of the admitted contravention by UCH:

  • there was no record of UCH having any prior relevant contraventions of the FW Act or any similar legislation; and
  • the maximum penalty for a contravention of s.340 for a corporation was $51,000.

Since 31 July 2015, the maximum penalty for each breach of the FW Act has risen to $54,000 for a corporation and $10,800 for an individual.  

To read the full decision in Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & Anor v WA Universal Crane Hire Pty Ltd & Ors [2016] FCCA 1939 (28 July 2016), click here.