Qld redundancy test case decision

Cases

Qld redundancy test case decision

A Full Bench of the Qld IRC has decided a State test case brought by Qld unions for higher redundancy standards in the Qld award system - granting an increase in the maximum amount of severance pay under awards.

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A Full Bench of the Qld IRC has decided a State test case brought by Qld unions for higher redundancy standards in the Qld award system - granting an increase in the maximum amount of severance pay under awards.

The decision doubles the severance payment to 16 weeks (currently eight weeks) for award employees with a maximum to apply after 12 years service.

However, the Full Bench:

  • refused additional severance pay for employees over 45 years of age;
  • refused to remove the small business (less than 15 employees) exemption;
  • refused to extend severance payments to casual employees, and
  • refused to include overtime and penalty payments in calculating redundancy payments.

The decision is significant in that it is the first time the Qld IRC has made a decision ahead of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) on matters of termination, change and redundancy (TCR). 

The Federal matter is still being heard.

The QCU’s application was heard over a period of seven months from April to October 2002.

Superannuation set-off

The decision has also ensured the offsetting of severance payments against superannuation entitlements will be substantially limited, whereby employers will now have to make individual applications for exemption from these new arrangements.

Other issues

Sham employer arrangements designed to avoid TCR obligations will be countered by redefining the operation of companies where those companies have common directors or shareholders.

Other issues not addressed in the QIRC decision but subject to the QCU’s application have been opened up for further submissions at a later date - including extending these entitlements to long-term casuals.

Conciliation conferences scheduled for 12 and 22 September 2003 with hearing to finalise orders on the 30 September 2003. Details will flow from final orders.

Operative date

The operative date for the order is 1 December 2003.

See: Queensland Redundancy Entitlements Test Case - August 2003 - FB of IRC (Qld) - 15 August 2003.

The decision is not yet available, but will soon be accessible via the Qld IRC website.

 

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