Pay victory for terminated FIFO workers

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Pay victory for terminated FIFO workers

A company that included rest and recreation leave in a notice period has been ordered to pay more than $1 million to retrenched FIFO workers.

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Unions will look to pursue major resource companies for millions of dollars in unpaid termination payments following a precedent-setting victory in the Fair Work Commission.

The principal electrical contractor on the Inpex Ichthys LNG project in the Northern Territory, Kentz Australia, made 150 fly-in fly-out workers redundant on the final day of their four-week shift, just prior to them commencing one week of recreation leave.

Kentz Australia reduced the termination payout to each worker by a week, counting the unpaid
rostered leave as part of their notice period.

The ETU challenged the move, arguing it was unlawful for the company to have the notice period run concurrently with rest and recreation leave.

The FWC agreed with the union, ruling that rest and recreation was leave and that notice of
termination of employment could not run concurrently with a period of leave, ordering Kentz
Australia to pay more than $1 million to the workers.

ETU national legal officer Michael Wright said the case "opens the door for thousands of other FIFO workers who have been been denied notice pay in breach of minimum conditions on major resource projects across Australia".

Read the FWC decision here.
 
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