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Employment – Personal Liability for Directors and Managers

Cause for Vigilance!

A string of recent employment cases involving the Fair Work Ombudsman have clearly illustrated the risk posed by the ‘accessorial liability’ provisions within the Fair Work Act.

In essence:

  • accessorial liability is a legal doctrine used to extend legal responsibility for an unlawful act to those involved in or associated with the act
  • in employment claims, accessorial liability can also render a director and/or manager liable for an employer’s contravention of the Fair Work Act

Accessorial Liability under the Fair Work Act

Under the Fair Work Act a person who is ‘involved’ in a contravention of the Fair Work Act is taken to have contravened that provision, where the person:

  • has aided, abetted, counselled or procured the contravention; or
  • has induced the contravention, whether by threats or promises or otherwise; or
  • has been in any way, by act or omission, directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in or party to the contravention; or