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Part 2 - Legal Incidents of the employment relationship (at common law)

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Part 2 - Legal Incidents of the employment relationship (at common law)

(a) Implication and Incorporation of Terms

Short v F W Hercus Pty Ltd (1993) 46 IR 128

NSW Cancer Council v Sarfaty (1992) 28 NSWLR 28

Byrne and Frew v Australia Airlines Ltd (1994) 120 ALR 274 (F Ct); on appeal (1995) 131 ALR 422

McCormick v Riverwood International *(Austr) Ltd (1999) 167 ALR 689

Russell v Trustees of Archdiocese of Sydney [2007] NSWSC 104

McDonald v Parnell Laboratories (Austr) Pty Ltd [2007] FCA 1903 esp. paras 64-74 and 83-95.

Willis v Health Communications Network Ltd [2007] NSWCA 313; 167 IR 425 esp. pars 25-66

Goldman Sachs JBWere Services Pty Limited v Nikolich [2007] FCAFC 120


BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v Shire of Hastings (1977) 52 ALJR 20

Codelfa Constructions Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority (NSW) (1982) 149 CLR 337

Hawkins v Clayton (1988) 164 CLR 539 at 582-6 per Deane J

Other helpful cases include:

Secured Income Real Estate (Australia) Ltd v SA Martin’s Investment Pty Ltd (1979) 144 CLR 596

Breen v Williams (1996) 186 CLR 71

Coles Myer Ltd v Sweeting, Ryan and Coppin (1993) 73 WALG 225 (Full Bench WAIRC)

Gregory v Philip Morris Ltd (1988) 80 ALR 455

Bostik Australia v Gorgevski (No. 2) (1992) 108 ALR 254

(b) Principal Rights/Duties Implied by Law: Employee

(i) Duty of Obedience/Co-operation

Adami v Maison de Luxe Ltd (1924) 35 CLR 143

Secretary of State for Employment v ASLEF (No 2) [1972] 2 QB 455

Cresswell v Board of Inland Revenue [1984] 2 All ER 713

See also:

McCarry, ‘The Employee’s Duty to Obey Unreasonable Orders’ (1984) 58 ALJ 327

O’Brien v Associated Fire Alarms Ltd [1968] 1 WLR 1916

Bowes & Partners v Press [1894] 1 QB 202

NCB v Galley [1958] 1 WLR 16

(other cases will be referred to in the sections dealing with disclosure of misconduct and also summary dismissal)

(ii) Duty of Care and Skill

Harmer v Cornelius (1858) 5 CB (NS) 236

Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)

Lister v Romford Ice & Cold Storage Co Ltd [1957] AC 555

Sinclair v Graham [1984] 2 NSWLR 253 (esp. Mahoney JA dissenting)

McGrath v Fairfield Municipal Council (1985) 59 ALR 18; [1984] 2 NSWLR 247 (CA, NSW)

Rowell v Alexander Mackie CAE (1988) 25 IR 87

(iii) Duty of Fidelty/Good Faith

Thomas Marshall (Exports) v Guinle [1978] 3 WLR 116

Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co v Ansell (1888) 39 Ch D 339

Hivac Ltd v Park Royal Scientific Instruments Ltd [1946] Ch 169

Mansard Precision Engineering Co v Taylor [1978] ICR 44

(See also cases dealing with post-contractual restraints; note too the cases listed below on the reciprocal obligation of trust and confidence)

(iv) Duty to Disclose Misconduct (aspect of duty of obedience?)

Sybron Corporation v Rochem Ltd [1983] 3 WLR 713; 2 All ER 707

Healey v Societe Anonyme Francaise Rubastic [1917] 1 KB 946

Bell v Lever Bros [1931] AC 161

Swain v West (Butchers) Ltd [1936] 3 All ER 261
(c) Rights/Duties Implied by Law: Employer

(i) Duty to Pay Wages

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Pty Ltd v Watson (1946) 72 CLR 435

ANA v Robinson [1977] VR 87

Gapes v Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd (1979) 27 ALR 72; and on appeal (1980) 37 ALR 20

Browning v Crumlin Valley Collieries [1926] 1 KB 522

Marrison v Bell [1939] 2 KB 187

Orman v Saville Sportswear Ltd [1960] 3 All ER 105

Mears v Safecar Security Ltd [1983] ICR 416

Sim v Rotheram Metro B.C. [1986] 3 All ER 387; 3 WLR 851

Miles v Wakefield Metro D.C. [1987] 1 All ER 1089

Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) s. 507

(ii) Duty of Care

Kondis v State Transport Authority (1984) 154 CLR 672

Stevens v Brodribb Sawmilling Co P/L (1986) 160 CLR 16

Patrick Stevedores (No. 1) P/L v Vaughan [2002] NSWCA 275

Johnstone v Bloomsbury Health Authority (1992) 2 AllER 293

Koehler v Cerebos (Aust) Ltd (2005) 222 CLR 44

(iii) Duty of Trust and Confidence

Burazin v Blacktown City Guardian Pty Ltd (1996) 142 ALR 144

Malik (and Mahmud) v BCCI SA (in liq) [1998] AC 20

Russell v Trustees of Archdiocese of Sydney [2007] NSWSC 104

McDonald v Parnell Laboratories (Austr) Pty Ltd [2007] FCA 1903 ¶ 64-74 and 83-95.

BCCI SA (in liq) v Ali (No. 2) (2002) [1998] 4 All ER 83, and on appeal [2002] 3 All ER 750

(iv) Duty to Provide Work

Turner v Sawdon [1901] 2 KB 653

Devonald v Rosser & Sons [1906] 2 KB 729

Re Rubel Bronze & Metal Co and Vos [1918] 1 KB 315

Collier v Sunday Referee Publishing Co [1940] 2 KB 647

White v Australian & NZ Theatres Ltd (1943) 67 CLR 266

Herbert Clayton & Jack Waller Ltd v Oliver [1930] AC 209

Bauman v Hulton Press Ltd [1952] 2 All ER 1121

Langston v AUEW [1974] ICR 180

Curro v Beyond Productions Pty Ltd (1993) 30 NSWLR 337

Wesoky v Village Cinemas Int. P/L [2001] FCA 32

Blackadder v Ramsay Butchering Services P/L (2005) 221 CLR 539 at 565-7

Secondary commentary:

OR (2006) chapter 6

MLE (2008) chapter 5

CS (2004) chapter 9

JR (2005) chapters 2 and 3.

CFM (1993) chapters 7, 8 & 9

Joellen Riley, ‘Mutual Trust and Good Faith’ (2003) 16 AJLL 28-50

  1. Part 3 – Discipline, Termination and Remedies


There are a variety of means by which a contract of employment can come to an end. These include termination with or without the consent of the parties and less frequently by the operation of law (for example through frustration of the contract). A very large proportion of the work of our industrial courts involves determinations about the fairness or lawfulness of these terminations. The extent to which the government should intervene and legislate with regard to the termination of employment continues to be the subject of a controversial and highly politicised debate. Here however we are concerned only with termination of the employment relationship under common law.

(a) Discipline

The employer possesses considerable powers of discipline within the employment relationship (see MLE (2008) chapters 5 & 6). In practice such powers are often not utilised, or are circumscribed by legislation (and/or awards and/or agreements having the force of awards) but in other instances discipline by means of “fine” or suspension is not unimportant, and its exercise can go virtually unchecked, especially where union organisation is weak.

The right to suspend was institutionalised in certain respects in the Australian industrial dispute resolution systems in the form of the “stand-down clauses” inserted into various awards. A useful description of the law and practice in this area is to be found in MLE (2008) chapter 6 and also (in more detail) in the article by Chris Arup ‘The Power of the Employer to Stand-down - Latitude and Constraints’ (1978) 20 JIR 453.

The right to compensation by way of agreed (liquidated) damages is a well established arrangement available to contracting parties but it is not properly described as a right to impose a fine, and in this respect the distinction between a damages clause and a penalty provision remains useful and important (as to which distinction see Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co v New Garage & Motor Co [1965] AC 79).

(b) Termination

The words “terminate” and “termination” are ambiguous and rely, for their meaning, on the particular context: see eg Cooper v Darwin Rugby League (1994) 57 IR 238; Victoria v ATU (1993) 49 IR 149.

(i) Termination by Agreement

The majority of terminations of employment contracts take place by mutual consent and without the slightest hint of acrimony or legal complication. Difficulties can arise, however, where what seems to be a consensual termination has actually been brought about by the conduct of one side or the other. This particular problem has given rise (most notably in the UK) to the emergence of the concept of “constructive dismissal” – an ending of the employment relationship [and contract?] which has the appearance of a resignation or an abandonment. In this connection now see the article by G McCarry (1994) 68 ALJ 494 (“Constructive Dismissal of Employees in Australia”).

(ii) Termination by Operation of Law (frustration)

Termination by operation of law can arise in a number of contexts, eg illness, imprisonment, death, bankruptcy, dissolution of a company or partnership. Illness is especially important for present purposes, having been the subject of discussion in a number of significant cases. These include:

Finch v Sayers [1976] 2 NSWLR 540.

Marshall v Harland & Wolff [1972] 1 WLR 899.

(iii) Termination With Notice

The contract itself may make provision (expressly or impliedly) for termination by the giving of a specified period of notice.

Birrell v ANA Commission (1984) 9 IR 101.

Quinn v Jack Chia (Aust) Ltd (1992) 1 VR 567; 43 IR 91.

Delaney v Staples [1992] 1 All ER 944 (especially at 947) (payment in lieu).

Vermeesch v Harvey World Travel Pty Ltd (1997) 74 IR 364.

New South Wales Cancer Council v Sarfaty (1992) 28 NSWLR 68.

(iv) Employer’s Common Law Right to Terminate Without Notice

The employee’s duty to obey the lawful/reasonable orders of the employer is of the essence of the employment relationship. It follows that the consequences of breach of that duty can include, if the breach is serious enough, summary dismissal. The same general principle (as to seriousness and dismissal) applies in relation to breaches of various other duties, express or implied, depending on the circumstances. Is it sensible therefore to say that there is a general duty not to engage in serious misconduct?

Adami v Maison de Luxe Ltd (1924) 35 CLR 143.

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Pty Ltd v Watson (1946) 72 CLR 435 (relevant passages)

Concut Pty Ltd v Worrell [2000] HCA 64; 103 IR 160

Rankin v Marine Power International Pty Ltd [2001] VSC 150; 107 IR 117

McDonald v Parnell Laboratories (Austr) Pty Ltd [2007] FCA 1903 ¶ 64-74 and 83-95.
(c) Remedies (esp. for wrongful dismissal)

Remedies for an action of wrongful dismissal are generally restricted to damages calculated (usually) by reference to the notice period. At common law, courts very rarely order specific performance (“reinstatement”). If specific performance is to be sought, the employee as a rule will need to show that the original contract remains on foot. This is often a difficult task as the need to earn money may require the dismissed employee to seek other employment. Once this occurs employees may well be regarded as having elected to treat the contract as at an end. Whilst it may be strictly speaking incorrect to say that it is no longer the rule that specific performance will never be granted in employment contracts, orders for equitable remedies (including injunctions commanding performance) remain discretionary.

  1. Common Law Damages

  1. Loss of earnings

Automatic Fire Sprinklers v Watson (1946) 72 CLR 435

Thomas Marshall (Exports) Ltd v Guinle [1978] 3 WLR 116, 3 All ER 193

NSW Cancer Council v Sarfaty (1992) 28 NSWLR 68

Gunton v Richmond-upon-Thames LBC [1981] Ch 448

See also:

Gregory v Philip Morris Ltd (1988) 80 ALR 455, 97 ALR 282 (appeal)

Bostik (Aust) Pty Ltd v Gorgevski (1992) 36 FCR 20

Byrne & Frew v Australian Airlines Ltd (1994) 120 ALR 27

  1. Loss of reputation and injury to feelings

Addis v Gramophone Co Ltd [1909] AC 488

Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001] 2 All ER 801

Malik (and Mahmud) v BCCI SA (in liq) [1998] AC 20

BCCI SA (in liq) v Ali (No. 2) (2002) 3 All ER 750

McDonald v Parnell Laboratories (Aust.) Pty Ltd [2007] FCA 1903

  1. Mitigation of Loss

Scott v Commonwealth (1982) 41 ALR 498

Bostik (Aust) Pty Ltd v Gorgevski (1992) 36 FCR 20

Gregory v Philip Morris Ltd (1988) 80 ALR 455

  1. Specific Performance and Injunctions

Turner v Australian Coal and Shale Employees Union (1984) 55 ALR 635 (relevant pages only)

Wheeler v Phillip Morris Ltd (1989) 97 ALR 282

Bostik (Aust) Pty Ltd v Gorgevski (1992) 36 FCR 20

Page One Records Ltd v Britton [1968] 1 WLR 157

Chappell v Times Newspapers Ltd (1975) 1 WLR 482

  1. Declarations

Gregory v Philip Morris Ltd (1988) 80 ALR 455 at 482

Wheeler v Phillip Morris Ltd (1989) 97 ALR 282 at 310
  1. repudiation (including wrongful dismissal)

The operation of the common law doctrine of (contractual) repudiation in the context of employment contracts has been the subject of extensive consideration in the courts. The importance of the doctrine can be gauged from the comment in Macken et al (1997), suggesting that “the preliminary issue central to the whole topic of remedies is the effect of repudiation of the contract of employment by one party”.

  1. The most often cited cases include:

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Pty Ltd v Watson (1946) 72 CLR 435.

Byrne v Australian Airlines Ltd (1995) 185 CLR 410 at 427/8

Thomas Marshall (Exports) v Guinle [1979] Ch 227; [1978] 3 All ER 193.

Gunton v Richmond-upon-Thames LBC [1981] Ch 448

Boyo v Lambeth LBC [1994] ICR 727

Turner v Australian Coal and Shale Employees Union (1984) 55 ALR 635 (relevant pages only)

Rankin v Marine Power International Pty Ltd [2001] VSC 150; 107 IR 117

  1. Some important Australian cases which raise the issue in award or statute governed employment include:

Gapes v Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd (1979) 27 ALR 72 and on appeal 37 ALR 20.

United Firefighters’ Union v MFBB (1998) 86 IR 340

Re Railway Appeal Board; ex parte WAGRC [1999] WASCA 63 (18/6/99)

For discussion of these cases see in particular the following texts:

MLE (2008) chapters 5, 7 & 10

CS (2004) chapter 9

CFM (1993) chapter 11

  1. PART 4Post Employment Restraints, Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Confidentiality and post employment restraints
(a) Confidentiality

The law on confidence places restrictions on an employee utilizing confidential information obtained in the course of employment for his/her own benefit.

If an employee makes a discovery or invention in the course of their work, generally that discovery or invention is, in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary, the property of the employer. The employee usually is required by law to give the benefit of that invention to the employer. This is so even if the employer suffers no loss in the sense that the employee does not use the discovery or invention for their own purposes and does not disclose it to the employer.

The common law, as implied in the employment contract, draws a distinction between:

(i) the knowledge and skill of the employee (which the employee is free to use) and

(ii) trade secrets and confidential information of the employer - which the employee is not free to use or disclose, except as authorised by the employer.

Australian Billboard Connections Pty Ltd v Jansen [2001] VSC 471

NP Generations Pty Ltd v Feneley (2001) SASR 151

Ansell Rubber Co Pty Ltd v Allied Rubber Industries Pty Ltd [1967] VR 37

Wessex Dairies v Smith [1935] 2 KB 80

Herbert Morris v Saxebly [1916] 1 AC 688

Saltman Engineering Co Ltd v Campbell Engineering Co [1948] PRC 203

Seager v Copydex Ltd [1967] 2 All ER 415

Coco v AN Clark (Engineers) Ltd [1969] RPC 41

Hivac Ltd v Park Royal Scientific Instruments [1946] Ch 169

Faccenda Chicken Ltd v Fowler [1986] 1 All ER 617; 3 WLR 288.

(b) Post employment restraints

Restrictions on competition after employment has ceased are regarded by the common law as void and thus unenforceable. However, under common law, a restraint may be enforceable if it is “reasonable”, taking into account the interests of: the party (employer) seeking to impose the restraint; the party (employee) who is to be restrained; and the public generally. Courts will assess reasonableness by reference to a range of factors including the geographic area of the restraint; the time period of the restraint; and the scope of the activities which are restrained.

Nordenfelt v Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Co. Ltd (1894) AC 535

Hughes v Western Australia Cricket Association Incorporation (1986) 60 ALR 660

Del Casale v Artedomus (Aust) Pty Ltd [2007] NSWCA 172

Sear v Invocare Australia Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 30

Wright v Gasweld Pty Ltd (1991) 39 IR 256; 22 NSWLR 317


Andrew Stewart, “Confidentiality and the Employment Relationship” (1988) 1 AJLL 1.

Andrew Stewart, “Ownership of Property in the context of Employment” (1992) 5 AJLL 1.

(c) Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Discrimination law (in the form of legislation, State and Federal) provides a series of rights, remedies and redress for certain, specified discriminatory conduct. A number of different grounds of unlawful discrimination are covered by statute, and these include sex, race and disability. A range of “activities” are the subject of prohibitions and restrictions in relation to education, provision of goods and services and employment. It is discrimination in the area of employment or employment relationships that we focus on here. Also note that in some circumstances “harassment” comes under the purview of discrimination law.


Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1981 (Cth)

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)

Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA)


Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty Ltd v Wardley (1980) 142 CLR 237

Askey-Doran v Fremantle Women’s Health Centre (2001) EOC ¶93-116

Mandla v Dowell Lee [1983] 2 AC 548

Smith v Commonwealth (2000) EOC ¶93-077

X v Commonwealth (1999) 193 CLR 177

Qantas Airways Ltd v Christie (1998) 193 CLR 280

Cosma v Qantas Airways Limited (2002) 124 FCR 504
  1. Part 5Termination and Statutory Actions

Federal Jurisdiction

Termination of Employment

Div. 4 of Part 12 of the Workplace Relations ACT 1996 (as amended)

See also Fair Work Bill 2008 (Cth) Part 3-2 – Unfair Dismissal

The relevant provisions of the WR Act 1996 are available in full text form on http://www.austlii.edu.au/

All of the cases listed below are available on Austlii. In addition many are also available on-line through the Law Library.


The scheme set out in Division 4 (esp. subdivisions A, B and C) is complicated by the detail contained in the various sections of the subdivisions. Much of that detail however concerns the exclusion of particular categories of employees from the beneficial and remedial provisions of the subdivisions dealing with unjust and unlawful terminations (Subdiv B and Subdiv C respectively), opportunities for the AIRC to dismiss unmeritorious claims and/or to award costs, and obligations on the tribunal to consider jurisdictional objections in the course of considering applications. The bare bones of the scheme, though, are relatively straightforward and comprehensible. The best way of getting some appreciation of the fundamentals is by reading the following sections in the sequence suggested below:

Unjust termination

s 637 (”Application” of Divs)

s 643 (1)(5) (“Application” by claimant)

s 650 (“Conciliation”)

s 651 (1) (“Election to proceed”)

s 652 (“Arbitration”)

s 654 (“Remedies on arbitration”)

s 655 (“Orders are binding”)

Unlawful termination (Subdivision C)

s 637 (2),(3) and (4) (“Application” of Div)

s 643 (1)(b) and (c) (“Application” by claimant)

s 650 (1) and (2) (“Conciliation”)

s 651 (4) and (5) (“Elections to proceed”)

ss 659, 660 and 661 (unlawful termination grounds)

s 663 (“Application to courts” by claimant)

s 664 (“Proof of issues”)

s 665 (“Orders”)
Harsh, Unjust or Unreasonable Termination

(Part 12, Div 4, Subdiv A and B of the WR Act 1996)
Introduction: General Considerations

Venning and Harward v Wormald Aust. Pty Ltd (1991) 41 IR 85; (1992) 42 IR 166*

Hill v Adult Multicultural Education Services [2008] AIRC 237; 171 IR 360 (“fair go”)

Extracts from federal award/contract cases (distributed in class)
Employee (see ss 636, 643, 652)

Abdalla v Viewdaze P/L (2003) 121 IR 215

Sammartino v Mayne Nickless t/a Wards Skyroad (2000) 98 IR 168

See also:

Bearings Inc. (Aust.) Pty Ltd v Treloar (1999) 95 IR 169
Excluded Employees (see ss 638, 639 and 642)

  1. Section 637 of the WRAct 1996 (in Subdivision A of Div 4) sets out the general classes of employees to whom Subdivision B (“unjust” termination) and Subdivision C (“unlawful” termination) are to apply. Although the meaning of “employee” for these purposes is contained in s 636, it seems evident that Subdivision C applies to a larger general class than does Subdivision B. What is the basis for reaching this conclusion? (compare s 637(1) and (2) with (3) and (4); see also s 637(5)). Why have these important distinctions been made by the legislature?

  1. This “application” section of Div 4 of the Act – that is s 637 - is then subject to several subsequent provisions of Div 4 which identify special categories of employees who, although otherwise within s 637, are expressly excluded from the actual operation of some or all of the various remedial provisions of Subdivision B and/or Subdivision C. The most important of these express exclusions are contained in ss 638 and 643. Does the fact that s 637 states that Subdivisions B and C “apply” to certain general classes of employees mean that the special categories of employees then specifically excluded by ss 638 and 643 from bringing actions for “unjust” and/or “unlawful” termination under Div 4 are nonetheless, in a statutory sense, still “covered” by that Division of the Act. If so it should follow that - in virtue inter alia of the inconsistency provisions in s 109 of the Commonwealth constitution – these “excluded” employees are also unable to access the “unfair” dismissal provisions of otherwise applicable state legislation (in WA, ss 29,23 and 23A of the IR Act 1979). In other words is it a deliberate part of the scheme of Div 4 expressly to “deal with” or “cover” such employees (by excluding them from the relevant remedial provisions of the WR Act 1996) and thereby prevent them from enjoying the protection of State “unfair dismissal” laws as well? (See Note 1 to subs 638(11), and also s16): or is the answer to be found in s 16 alone?

  1. Employees excluded under s 638

This section identifies those categories of employee who are excluded from the operation of Subdivisions B (and Subdivisions D & E), and also in certain instances ss 660 and 661 of Subdivision C.

(i) contract for a specified period of time (s638 (1)(a); but see also Note 1 and subs (3)).

SPC Ardmona Operations v Osam (2005) 141 IR 339

O’Hara v State of Victoria (2004) 133 IR 118

  1. contract for a specified task (s. 638(i)(b); but see also subs (3)).

  2. period of probation (s 638 (1)(c); see also s 643 (6) & (7) which deal with the so-called “qualifying period’ in relation to actions for harsh, unjust and unreasonable terminations).

O’Hara v State of Victoria (2004) 133 IR 118

Sankar v HIC (2004) 134 IR 259

Aged Care Services Aust Group P/L v Ziday [2008] AIRCFB 367; 172 IR 385

  1. casual employees engaged for a short period (s 638 (1)(d); but see also sub ss (4) & (5))

Nightingale v Little Legends Childcare (2004) 134 IR 111

  1. high earning employees not employed under award derived conditions

(s. 638 (1)(f); but see also sub ss (6) and (7), and s 642 (6)).

BMS Entertainment P/L v Sawaris (2004) 144 IR 377

Oliveri v AIRC (2005) FACFC 36; 145 IR 121

Hitchcock v Beverage Industry Environ Council (2004) 133 IR 393

Jessen v NEC Business Solutions Ltd (2004) 136 IR 111

Simon Engineering Australia P/L v Dunphy (2005)139 IR 432

Mainerd v Sydney Airport Corp’n Ltd [2008] AIRC 262; 172 IR 360

(vi) section 639 authorises the making of regulations providing for additional exclusions in relation to particular classes of employees

(vii) section 638 (11) identifies particular grounds for excluding employees from bringing actions under ss 660 and 661, or under Subdivision D.

(viii) regulations have since been made (see Workplace Relations Regulations 2006 Part 12, Div 4, regs 12.2 – .13) relating to various aspects of Div 4, including exceptions for the required period of notice under s 661 of the Act in cases of serious misconduct by the employee. These regulations are available electronically.

  1. Employees excluded under s 643 (‘applications for remedies for harsh, unjust or unreasonable terminations’).

In addition to the various exclusions contained in s 638, certain other groups or classes of employees are specifically excluded (by s 643) from the protective/remedial arrangements of Subdivision B (“unjust” termination).

  1. Employees employed by an employer who employs fewer than 101 employees

(s 643(10), (11) & (12)).

Brand v Fraser-Scott Group [2008] AIRCFB 206; 173 IR 1

This provision was introduced in Dec 2005 and is due to be repealed in July 2009.

  1. employee has not served the qualifying period of employment

(s 643 (6) & (7)).

O’Hara v State of Victoria (2004) 133 IR 118

Gemmell v Sleepmaster P/L (2005) 145 IR 154

Omondi v Flinders University (2006) 151 IR 26

Aged Care Services Aust Group P/L v Ziday [2008] AIRCFB 367; 172 IR 385

  1. termination was for genuine operational reasons

(s 643 (8) & (9)).

Acworth v Boeing Australia Ltd (2007) 166 IR 371

Cruickshank v Priceline Pty Ltd [2007] AIRCFB 513; 164 IR 259

Carter v Village Cinemas Aust P/L (2007) 158 IR 137

Higgs v GoTalk Pty Ltd [2008] AIRC 82; 171 IR 326

Orrcon Operations Pty Ltd v Saverino [2008] AIRCFB 98; 171 IR 255

This provision was introduced in Dec 2005 and is due to be repealed in July 2009.

To understand the kind of claims it appears to be designed to preclude see:

Rosedale Leather P/L v Metcalf (2004) 144 IR 365

Windsor Smith v Liu (1998) 140 IR 398

  1. application out of time

(s 643 (14) & (15); see also ss 647 and 648).

Pearson v Austal Ships Pty Ltd [2008] AIRCFB 433; 173 IR 245

Cruz v Australia Post Corp’n [2008] AIRCFB 452; 173 IR 78

Termination (“at the initiative of the employer”) (see ss 642(1), (3) & (4); 652)

Mohazab v Dick Smith Electronics P/L (No. 2) (1995) 62 IR 200

Advertiser Newspapers Pty Ltd v IRC of SA (1999) 90 IR 211 (‘demotion’)*

Brackenridge v Toyota Motor Corp Aust Ltd (1996) 142 ALR 99

Pawel v AIRC (1999) 97 IR 392

Damevski v Guidice (2003) 129 IR 53

Falconer v Vic Transport Assn (2004) 132 IR 457

Dept of Justice v Lunn (2006) 158 IR 410

Hastie v Impress Aust P/L [2008] AIRC 102; 171 IR 311*
Harsh, Unjust, Unreasonable (see s 652)

Extracts from federal award/contract cases (distributed in class)

Miller v UNSW (2003) 132 FCR 147; 127 IR 432 (esp Gray J)

Murdoch University v Mainsbridge (1998) 84 IR III

Australian Meat Holdings P/L v McLaughlan (1998) 84 IR 1

Rose v Telstra Corporation Ltd (AIRC, Q9292, 4 Dec 1998)

Crozier v Palazzo Corporation P/L (2000) 98 IR 137 (capacity/valid reason)*

Annetta v Ansett Australia (2000) 98 IR 233 (valid reason)*

Diamond Offshore General Co v Robertson (2003) 128 IR 297

Fraser v Imparja Television P/L (2002) 124 IR 187 (misconduct)*

Culpeper v Intercontinental Ship Management P/L (2004) 134 IR 150 (fighting)

Woolworths v Brown (2005) 145 IR 285 (employer policy/conduct)*

Farquharson v Qantas Airways Ltd (2006) 155 IR 22

Palmer v Commonwealth of Aust. (Austrac) [2007] AIRCFB 265 ; 163 IR 120

Gauci v GlaxoSmithKline Aust P/L [2008] AIRCFB 439; 173 IR 264

Hill v Adult Multicultural Education Services [2008] AIRC 237; 171 IR 360

BigW Monarto Warehouse/590 RDC v Paech [2007] AIRCFB 1049; 171 IR 1

Simos v Coles Group Supply Chain Pty Ltd [2008] AIRCFB 360; 173 IR 36

Streeter v Telstra Corp’n Ltd [2008] AIRCFB 15; 170 IR 1

Selak v Woolworths Ltd [2008] AIRCFB 81; 171 IR 267
Substantive and Procedural Fairness

Extracts from federal award/contract cases

Telstra Corp'n v Edwards (1998) 84 IR 178

Andrews v Cargill Aust Ltd (2004) 132 IR 467

Remedies (see s 654)

Gauci v GlaxoSmithKline Aust P/L [2008] AIRCFB 439; 173 IR 264

EDI Rail P/L v Rowley [2008] AIRCFB 64; 171 IR 234

Blackadder v Ramsey Butchering Services P/L (2005) HCA 22; 215 ALR 87; 139 IR 338 (meaning of reinstatement)*

Fletcher v Commonwealth (AFP) [2007] AIRCFB 466; 164 IR 245

Medhi v Rail Corp’n of NSW [2007] AIRCFB 428; 161 IR 126

Fraser v Imparja Television P/L (2002) 124 IR 187* (reinstatement)

Bryson v Dy-Mark (Aust.) P/L [2007] AIRC 339; 163 IR 357

Burazin v Blacktown City Guardian P/L (1996) 142 ALR 144 (compensation)

Australian Meat Holdings P/L v McLaughlan (1998) 84 IR 1*

Wark v Melbourne City Toyota (1999) 89 IR 132 (reinstatement)

Ellawala v Aust. Postal Corp. (AIRC; 17 April 2000; S5109) (compensation)

Re Lewin; Ex parte He [2004] FCAFC 161; 133 IR 217 (reinstatement)

Smith v Moore Paragon Aust. Ltd (2004) 130 IR 446 (compensation)
See also:

Rofin Austr v K J Newton (1997) 78 IR 78 (remuneration)
Unlawful Termination

(Part 12, Div 4, Subdiv C of the WR Act 1996)

Laz v Downer Group Ltd (2000) FCA 1390; 108 IR 244* (“family responsibilities”)

Qantas Airways Ltd v Christie (1998) 79 IR 120; 152 ALR 365 (“inherent requirements”)

Nightingale v Little Legends Childcare [2004] 134 IR 111

Bahonko v Moorfields Community [2005] 139 IR 281

Bahonko v Sterjov [2007] FCA 1244

Sallehpour v Frontier Software P/L [2005] 139 IR 457

Robertson v South [2000] FCA 1402; 140 IR 169

Elliott v Kodak Australasia P/L [2001] FCA 1804; 129 IR 185*

AFMEPKIU v Australian Health and Nutrition Assn [2003] FCA 590; 147 IR 380

Tham v Coles Group Supply Chain P/L [2008] AIRC 110; 173 IR 64

Sterling Commerce (Austr) P/L v Iliff [2008] FCA 702; 173 IR 378

Claveria v Pilington Austr P/L [2007] FCA 1692; 167 IR 444

Bahoum v All Districts Coating P/L [2008] FMCA 172; 169 IR 331 at 349-55 (remedies)
Unfair Dismissal (Western Australia)

Decisions since 1986 at www.wairc.wa.gov.au

Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) 29(1)(b)(i), ss 23, 23A, 29, 29AA and 23B

General Considerations:

Venning and Harward v Wormald Aust. Pty Ltd (1991) 41 IR 85; (1992) 42 IR 166*

Undercliffe Nursing Home v FMWU (1985) 65 WAIG 385

Extracts from federal award/contract cases as distributed

Employee (ss 23A and 29(1)(b)) (contract of service):

Sproule v Boyanup Tavern (1998) 79 WAIG 296 (‘independent contractor’)

Sammartino v Mayne Nickless t/a Wards Skyroad (2000) 98 IR 168 (Federal)

Dallaston v Canon Foods (2005) 85 WAIG 2999

Millar v JB and BL Nominees P/L (2005) 85 WAIG 3802

Dismissal (s 23A; also ss 29 (1)(b)(i) and 29AA):

Advertiser Newspapers Pty Ltd v IRC of SA (1999) 90 IR 211 (‘demotion’)*

Melissa Jaggard v Tranby Pty Ltd (1996) 76 WAIG 4720

Gallotti v Argyle Diamond Mines P/L (2003) 83 WAIG 919 (also 3053 on appeal)

Bone Densitometry Australia P/L v Lenny (2005) 85 WAIG 2981

Unfairness and Remedies: Expositions and Illustrations (ss 23A and 29AA):

Gilmore v Cecil Bros Pty Ltd (1996) 76 WAIG 4434 (Full Bench); and on appeal to IAC* (1998) 78 WAIG 1099* (‘redundancy / unsatisfactory performance’)

Bradley Smith v CDM Aust Pty Ltd (1997) 78 WAIG 307 (‘disobedience’)*

Dellys v Elderslie Finance Corp Ltd [2002] WASCA 161*

Hotcopper Australia Ltd v SAAB [2002] WASCA 180; 117 IR 256

Garbett v Midland Brick Co P/L [2003] WASCA 36; 129 IR 270*

Matthews v Cool or Cosy P/L [2004] WASCA 114; 136 IR 156*

Portilla v BHP Iron Ore P/L (2005) 85 WAIG 3441

Time Limit (ss 23A, 29(3)):

Malik v Paul Albert, Director General DET (2004) 84 WAIG 683

Martin v Curtin University of Technology (2005) 85 WAIG 3797

Barton v Alf Barbargallo et al (2005) 85 WAIG 3792

Denial of Contractual Benefits (ss 29(1)(b)(ii)) and 29AA(4))
Perth Finishing College Pty Ltd v Watts (1989) 32 AILR 107

Hotcopper Australia Ltd v SAAB [2002] WASCA 180; 117 IR 256

Matthews v Cool or Cosy P/L [2004] WASCA 114; 136 IR 156

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