Unprecedented Federal Court decision could have “dynamite” consequences for businesses employing casual workers

An unprecedented decision by the full bench of Australia’s Federal Court could have huge ramifications for a huge number of Australian small businesses who employ casual workers.

In a decision handed down yesterday, the full power of the Federal Court ruled in favour of a casual truck driver who was employed at a Rio Tinto mine by labour-hire company Workpac.

The employee had been terminated by the company after working there for nearly four years in a casual position. Upon the end of his employment, the worker felt his work with the company was akin to regular employment, due to his work being 12.5-hour shifts in “a seven days on, seven days off continuous roster arrangement”.

The worker then took the labour-hire company to court, claiming he was owed around $21,000 in annual leave, along with nearly $7,000 in interest. Despite the company adamantly claiming the worker was a casual employee under the Fair Work Act, the full bench of the Federal Court found otherwise and ruled in favour of the truck driver. Read more

Dominic Powell - Smart Company - 17 Aug 2018

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