• Lexis Nexis

Prior service as casual may not count as service when calculating redundancy entitlements

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has ruled that an employee’s period of contiguous service as a casual before converting to permanent employment was not to be counted when calculating their redundancy entitlements under the applicable enterprise agreement (Unilever v AMWU [2018] FWCFB 4463).

This decision marks a possible departure from the Full Bench’s earlier decision in Donau v AMWU [2016] FWCFB 3075 where it was held that a permanent employee’s “continuous service” included prior periods of regular and systematic casual employment for the purposes of redundancy pay and notice entitlements under the National Employment Standards (NES).

While Unilever concerned the interpretation of redundancy entitlements under an enterprise agreement rather than the NES, the Full Bench also questioned the correctness of taking prior casual service into account when calculating service for the purposes of the NES:

“[Donau] should not be understood as establishing any principle about the application of s 22 which defines “service” and “continuous service”] to casual employment, or the approach to calculating service in enterprise agreements”.

Read the full text of the Commission’s decision here: Unilever v AMWU [2018] FWCFB 4463.

For help with any industrial relations matters, call Brian Newman or Workers First on (07) 3807 3807 or email gethelp@workersfirst.com.au

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