The Fair Work Commission has rejected a bid by Hobsons Bay City Council to avoid paying redundancy entitlements to five Home Support employees who did not agree to transfer their employment to a private provider.
The Council made an application to the Fair Work Commission seeking to vary the Hobsons Bay City Council Enterprise Agreement 2016 – 2019 to remove what it said was ambiguity or uncertainty.
The ASU argued that the Agreement was not ambiguous or uncertain and that the Council was required to pay the employees their redundancy entitlements.
The Fair Work Commission dismissed the Council’s application finding that that the Agreement was not ambiguous or uncertain. The Commission also found that the historical context establishes that employees were entitled to redundancy pay even when they elected not to transfer their employment.
The ASU still has a claim for redundancy pay for these employees on foot in the Federal Court of Australia.
Lisa Darmanin the Australian Services Union, Authorities & Services Branch Secretary for Victoria and Tasmania, said:
“These Home Support workers gave many years of loyal service to the Council and the least the Council can do for them is pay their redundancy entitlements”
“The decision of the Fair Work Commission is clear. The ASU is calling on the Council to stop wasting ratepayers’ money trying to avoid paying these entitlements and do the right thing by these workers. This decision should be a lesson to all other employers that the ASU will always defend the rights and entitlements of its members.”
Daniel Victory, Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers who represented the Union, said:
“Maurice Blackburn has a proud history of fighting for the rights and entitlements of members of the Australian Services Union. This decision is yet another example of how employees need to be vigilant in protecting their entitlements.”
"Increasingly, we are seeing employers who are seeking to vary or terminate workplace agreements to the detriment of employees. The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to join your union.”