Two recent rulings have thrown the workplace arrangements of two large-scale employers of shift workers into chaos as they potentially may result in mass underpayment claims being made against hundreds of businesses around the country.
Under the National Employment Standards (NES) full-time employees receive 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave per year of service and each work-day day is calculated as being comprised of 7.6 hours.
The Mondelez Decision
In the Mondelez decision a dispute arose in respect of their enterprise agreement:
- it provided “80 hours per annum” for paid personal/carer’s leave rather than 10 days per annum under the NES
- the FWC was concerned the provision would deprive Mondelez’s 10 and 12 hour shiftworkers from receiving the full NES entitlement of 10 days per annum
- the FWC had to decide whether the NES entitlement meant 10 days x 7.6 hours or 10 days x actual hours worked being either 10 or 12 hours for its shift workers