Case Study – Workplace Relations

Practice Area: Workplace Relations
Team: Michelle Dawson, Emily Dempster

Madgwicks’ Workplace Relations team, led by Partner and Accredited LIV Specialist Michelle Dawson, represented a transport industry client in an annual leave dispute with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) at the Fair Work Commission (Commission).

The TWU notified a dispute under the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) when our client, a large transport company, refused to permit one of its Victorian based members to accrue annual leave whilst receiving workers compensation. The TWU advanced the dispute in reliance on a 2015 Full Bench of the Federal Court decision that in NSW, annual leave can accrue whilst an employee is on workers compensation.

The TWU claimed that the above decision, which was specific to the NSW workers compensation legislation, should be followed in Victoria given the Full Bench had noted in its decision that the relevant provisions of the NSW and Victorian workers compensation legislation are very similar.

With but 24 hours’ notice of the Fair Work Commission dispute proceedings, the Workplace Relations team came to the client’s aide, advocating on its behalf at the Commission with the ultimate result that the client’s position in refusing to give in to the TWU’s demands was – and continues to be – maintained.