Company cops $19,000 penalty for failing to consult on redundancies

The CFMEU has persuaded a mining company to wear a major fine by consent for failing to consult with the union once it had made a decision to introduce mass redundancies.

A Federal Court judge questioned the $19,000 penalty, which she pointed out was about 40 per cent of the maximum provided for by the legislation. She indicated that the penalty was “manifestly excessive” given the employer had no prior contraventions, it had conceded liability, had taken immediate steps to consult once it decided on the restructure, had compensated the employees and had cooperated in the joint submission.

 

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She said, however, that both parties had assured her the sum was appropriate and not made “pursuant to any other promise or favour as between the parties and reflects a true compromise”.

“Whilst in my view the sum is at the highest possible end of an appropriate penalty, I am prepared to give effect to the agreement of the parties of the penalties sought and agreed to in respect of the contraventions,” she said.

iHR believes these costly payments can be prevented with the right workplace relations advice.

iHR Australia offers a wide range of workplace relations/industrial relations services to assist professional organisations manage their regulatory requirements and adopt best-practice employment principles – this includes representation in industrial matters and advice around redundancies.

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