Bullying Appeal Win for Employee as Bench Overturns Commissioner Ruling Based On Jurisdiction

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has remitted an anti-bullying case back to Commissioner Hunt to re-determine whether or not Trade and Investment Queensland is a constitutional corporation within the meaning of s 789FD of the Fair Work Act.

The appeal was granted on public interest grounds by Deputy Presidents Val Gostencnik and John Kovacic and Commissioner Paula Spencer in conjunction with other errors in the decision.

Commissioner Hunt held that TIQ’s activities did not amount to trading and at most, were not a ‘substantial consideration’ despite charging rent to another entity to occupy premises. A sub-tenancy is considered by the full bench to be ‘prima facie commercial in nature and carried on by the TIQ with a view to earning revenue’.

The bench also commented on how the interest earned from bank accounts across various jurisdictions did not constitute a trading activity.

Tips for Employers

In light of this decision, employers are strongly advised to:

  • Comply with workplace law to prevent bullying and harassment to guarantee fair work conditions for employees
  • Consult your employment lawyer if you are in a legal dispute to navigate employment law
  • incorporate discrimination, dispute resolution and grievance clauses into their employment contracts


If you would like more information about this article or if you would like any assistance in other employment law matters, from an employment lawyer in Sydney, please feel free to speak with or email one of our specialist employment lawyers on (02) 9635 7966 or info@matthewsfolbigg.com.au

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as definitive or complete statement of the relevant workplace law.