Jurisdiction - federal cases

Cases

Jurisdiction - federal cases

The jurisdiction of the AIRC is likely to undergo considerable change under the Labor Government. Three cases below deal with jurisdictional questions under the WorkChoices regime, covering enterprise agreements and unfair dismissal.

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The jurisdiction of the AIRC is likely to undergo considerable change under the Labor Government. Three cases below deal with jurisdictional questions under the WorkChoices regime, covering enterprise agreements and unfair dismissal.

New rosters under enterprise agreement
 
The AIRC considered the construction of an enterprise agreement to decide whether it had power to arbitrate over a dispute resolution procedure.
 
A Full Bench found that the Commissioner considered that the task of arbitrating new rosters was not a matter arising under the agreement because no controversy had arisen concerning the existing provision, such as the construction of the provision, how the agreed rosters were to be applied or what the rosters were.

As the Commissioner pointed out, the agreement provided a dispute resolution role for the Commission in relation to the implementation or proposed implementation of new rosters, by implication excluding the Commission from the role of arbitrating the rosters themselves.
 
Sydney Ferries Corporation and Australian Maritime Officers Union re Sydney Ferries Corporation Maritime Officers Enterprise Agreement 2006-2008-FBAIRC (Guidice P, Lawler VP and Roberts C) –7/11/07 – [2007] AIRCFB 909 –PR979569

 
Determination of entitlement to allowances

In settling disputes over the application of the agreement, it is not the role of the Commission to apply a general discretion over terms and conditions, whether formally by a determination or informally by making a recommendation.

Rather, in an agreement based system of dispute resolution, it is necessary to ensure that disputes over the application of the agreement are resolved in accordance with the mechanisms agreed upon by the parties who ultimately retain the responsibility for determining the terms of employment.

The Full Bench said that when parties authorise the Commission to determine a dispute over the application of an agreement it is necessary for the Commission to ensure that it determines the matter in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

The Commissioner at first instance should have confined his decision to the determination of the dispute over the application of the agreement. In proceeding to go further and make a recommendation unrelated to the terms of the agreement, he exceeded the jurisdiction vested in the Commission by the parties to the agreement.

Qantas Airways Ltd and TWU – FBAIRC (Watson VP, Watson SDP and Raffaelli C) – 31/10/07 --[2007] AIRCFB 915-- PR979625


Casuals and unfair dismissal


This case confirmed that the AIRC does not have jurisdiction to hear unfair dismissal claims of casual employees engaged for a short period of time.

Nijel Vidler and Brisbane City Council –FBAIRC (Watson VP, O’Callaghan SDP and Gay C) –[2007] AIRCFB 873 –PR979358 – 17/10/07


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Dispute settling process & WorkChoices
 

 

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