Want to avoid an unfair dismissal claim? Allocate more overtime

by Human Capital07 May 2014
How you arrange your overtime roster could make the difference as to whether or not an employee can make an application for unfair dismissal.

Currently, employees earning more than $129,300 – the current high-income threshold – are not able to make an application.

But employers need to be aware that work counted as “guaranteed” overtime counts towards employees reaching that threshold, according to a recent ruling by the Fair Work Commission.

The commission was asked to consider whether a CBI Constructors worker’s daily attendance at “pre-shift” safety meetings was considered guaranteed overtime.

Under the Fair Work Act, where earnings are guaranteed, they must be included in the worker’s annual income.

The Full Bench found that in the case of the pre-shift meetings, the overtime was guaranteed for a number of reasons, including the fact that the employee attended the meetings every day for a year, apart from when absent from work, every supervisor in the company was required to attend, work could not start until the meeting was over and the employee’s payment for overtime could be determined in advance, because his employment agreement set out the hourly monetary amount. 

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