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Employment Law – Background

The Fair Work Commission has compensated an employee who was unfairly dismissed because her employer failed to comply with their consultation obligations under the relevant award.

Employment Law – Facts

In essence:

  • Carer’s that Care (CTC) terminated Ms Morris’ employment because it could not afford to pay her full-time wage after losing a significant number of clients
  • Ms Morris argued that she hadn’t received any warnings but was only told that CTC was shutting down and staff would be made redundant
  • She also argued that she was not provided with the opportunity to respond, because the managing director refused to have any discussions with Morris
  • Morris lodged an application for unfair dismissal

Employment Law – The Relevant Law

  • Section 389 of the Fair Work Act (‘The Act’) states that a genuine redundancy occurs when an employee’s position is no longer required and the employer has complied with any obligations under the modern award or enterprise agreement
  • The Fair Work Commission will then examine whether the dismissal was harsh, unreasonable or unjust under s387 of the Act

Employment Law – Fair Work Commission decision

The Fair Work Commission:

  • found that the employee’s dismissal was not a genuine redundancy because the consultation obligations under the Clerks-Private Sector Award were not satisfied
  • accepted that Ms Morris was dismissed because her role could no longer be performed due to operational changes
  • found that the company had failed to consult with Ms Morris as required under the award was significant. Additionally, the company only verbally notified Morris of the dismissal
  • consequently ruled that her dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
  • ordered compensation of $5482

The decision is available for you to read through the hyperlink:

Morris v Community Caring P/L t/a Carers That Care (U2017/6386) [2017] FWC 4433

Employment Law – Tips for Employers

Our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team recommends employers:

  • review this Fair Work Commission decision
  • seek the assistance of an employment lawyer to understand the impacts of this Fair Work Commission decision
  • ensure compliance with all employment laws including Fair Work Commission decisions, Awards and enterprise agreements
  • understand what employment laws apply at your workplace including Awards and enterprise agreements
  • ensure consultative processes are complied with as set out in industrial instruments
  • apply a procedurally fair process where termination of employment is considered

Employment Law – More Information

Please call the leading employment lawyers in Parramatta, the Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team on 9635-7966 to speak with one of our employment lawyers.