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Court decision clears up redundancy rights

A WESTERN Australian Industrial Appeal court decision has given employers some certainty over how much money to pay workers who have been made redundant.

Justices Graeme Scott (who was the presiding judge), Christopher Pullin and Kevin Parker agreed that redundancy payments could not be implied into a contract.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry manager legal services Geoff Bull said the decision meant employers now had some surety about their rights when making an employee redundant.

“It makes life easier for employers because now they know that what they put into a contract in regards to redundancy is what they will have to pay,” he said.

“The commission has decided before that an unfair dismissal has occurred not only for the way it’s been done but also because the person has not been paid out correctly.

“If the commission decided that a redundancy pay out had not been sufficient then it would order that more be paid.”

Gadens Lawyers partner Allan Drake-Brockman said the decision restricted redundancy payouts to what was stated in the worker’s contract or the award covering the industry.

“The commission can still technically find that someone has been unfairly dismissed if it is unhappy with the redundancy provisions but it cannot award compensation,” he said.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry helped Epath appeal a decision of the Full Bench of the WA Industrial Relations Commission that upheld a ruling that it owed former employee Ihann Adriansz $14,197.26 for redundancy plus a denied contractual obligation of $8,492.

Mr Adriansz’s contract with Epath had no redundancy clause.

 

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