Gertude worked as a permanent part-time picker and packer in the wholesale industry for almost seven years.
Twenty days prior to accumulating seven years of continuous service (and thus potentially being entitled to pro rata long service leave), her employment was terminated. She was unexpectedly informed that her employment was being terminated because the company could only provide day shifts to casual employees.
The dismissal was harsh, unjust and unreasonable because the employer did not provide a valid reason for the dismissal related to Gertrude’s capacity or conduct, and did not afford her procedural fairness. Furthermore, the employer had not made the appropriate payment in lieu of notice.
The dismissal had a negative impact on Gertrude’s personal and economic situation as she was over the age of forty-five, a single parent, lived in a remote location, was financially disadvantaged and at risk of homelessness. Gertrude filed an Unfair Dismissal Application in the Fair Work Commission.
Prior to the matter proceeding to Hearing, WWQ negotiated 11 weeks redundancy pay, an additional three weeks in lieu of notice, and an additional two weeks in recognition of the employer’s inadvertent delay in making the former payments.
WWQ also negotiated that the termination be recorded as a redundancy, a detailed Statement of Service be provided, and a guarantee that the employer would provide a prospective future employer with an appropriate reference.