Commercial superintendent covered by award

Cases

Commercial superintendent covered by award

A decision interpreting a clerical award’s coverage to include a highly paid commercial superintendent serves as a warning to employers as to whether their supervisory staff are truly award-free.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

A decision interpreting a clerical award’s coverage to include a highly paid commercial superintendent serves as a warning to employers as to whether their supervisory staff are truly award-free.
 
The employee lost his case to have the time for his application for unfair dismissal extended, however, the AIRC ruled that he came within the scope of a clerical award and would not have had to satisfy the salary cap test if the matter had proceeded.
 
The employee's evidence was that he met the classification 'characteristics' test for appointment to Level 5 of the relevant Clerks Award.
 

Award applies

Commissioner Bacon noted:

'Even though it is not necessary in order to determine whether the Clerks Award is binding, I accept that evidence of the applicant that:

  • He was subject to broad guidance and direction from the Commercial Manager;

  • He used specialist knowledge and experience in commercial support to independently advise the Commercial Manager in relation to my accountabilities;

  • He was responsible and accountable for his own work and the work of the three positions under his control and supervision in terms of, amongst other things, scheduling workloads, resolving operational problems, monitoring the quality of work produced and performance and work related counselling;

  • He supervised, and sometimes trained the three persons reporting to him through personal instruction and demonstration. He was required to exercise initiative, discretion and judgement in the performance of his duties;

  • The role did not require any tertiary qualifications and he does not hold any tertiary qualifications.

'The employer in its submission observes that the above characteristics read by themselves (which are almost taken verbatim from the Level 5 characteristics of the Clerks Award) could apply to a wide range of positions, including the General Mine Manager and even positions at a higher level.

'On its face that is an observation with which I agree. …'

The Commission found the superintendent was principally in the vocation of calculating and/or checking or otherwise dealing with the records, books or accounts of the respondent. It followed that the employee was bound by the [Qld] Clerks Award.

Layton, Shane v North Goonyella Coal Mines Pty Ltd [2007]AIRC 487 (25 June 2007)

Related

Application of awards to employees 'on staff'

What's in a name - worker or manager?

What makes a clerk?

Post details