Australian sportsman suing sporting body for over $2.5 million

by Chloe Taylor27 Jan 2015
It seems that even millionaires aren’t immune to being underpaid.

Stuart MacGill – former test spinner for the Australian cricket team – is suing Cricket Australia for over $2.6 million, The Canberra Times reported last week.

The cricketer filed his case with the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, claiming that Cricket Australia failed to pay him over $1.6 million in match payments and prize money.

MacGill, who retired in 2008, is also seeking alost $1 million in interest and costs.

He reportedly claimed that the organisation neglected to pay him injury payments from a two year period in 2008 during which he was physically unable to play.

The total amount of $1,640,890 MacGill seeks is allegedly owed from:
·         tour payments for 15 away test matches ($846,090)
·         tour payments for 11 home game test matches ($140,800)
·         retainer payments at $297,000 for 52 weeks
·         retainer payments at $333,000 for 52 weeks
·         prize money for nine Test series at $27,000

MacGill said that he entered into a one year contract with Cricket Australia annually from 1998 to 2007. He alleged that ordinarily when injury prevented him from playing, Cricket Australia would continue to pay him in accordance with their player injury policy.  

According to MacGill’s writ, he was advised to return home by Cricket Australia after officials were told of the severity of his injuries.

MacGill claimed that following the organisation’s failure to pay him his full entitlements – which he was owed contractually – he tried to negotiate, but Cricket Australia allegedly denied liability. MacGill claims that the cricketing body also denied referring the issue for mediation, leading him to take legal action.

Greg Doran, director at Nevett Ford, told HC that the trial will be a breach of contract case.

“How likely MacGill will succeed in his case depends on the evidence he calls in support of his allegations,” he said.

Doran outlined employers’ obligations in terms of illness or injury leave.

“Under the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act, employers which are subject to the Act are obliged to provide ten days’ paid leave per year to deal with injury or illness of the employee or for an employee to care for someone in the employee’s immediate family or household who is ill or injured,” he said. “This leave must be supported by an appropriate medical certificate.”

He also told HC where these obligations end.

“Outside of that, employers do not have an obligation to pay employees who are injured or ill indefinitely,” he explained. “If the employee was injured or became ill as a result of an incident arising out of employment, worker compensation legislation then applies and the employee may be entitled to payments of weekly compensation during the period of absence from work. These benefits under legislation cannot be contracted away.”


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