In-home aged care workers at the City of Maribyrnong are set to receive over $2 million in redundancy payments following an important Federal Court decision.
The City of Maribyrnong initiated Federal Court proceedings last year, even before deciding to outsource aged care services, in an attempt to deny longstanding workers redundancy payments.
The Australian Services Union who represents council aged care workers has always maintained redundancies were payable to workers who will lose their jobs through outsourcing at the council.
Australian Services Union Secretary Lisa Darmanin said the decision means aged care workers who will soon lose their jobs with council will now receive redundancy payments.
“It shows extraordinary disregard for longstanding workers that a local council would try to pre-emptively deny workers their entitlements by taking Federal Court action,” Ms Darmanin said.
“Without the ASU these workers who face an uncertain future and are at risk of insecure work would have been denied their entitlement to redundancy payments.”
“The ASU exists only for the benefit of members and this case shows that without being a member of the union, workers would not have the resources or expertise to act alone – we are stronger together.”
“The ASU’s determination to fight this case also shows other employers that our union will defend the working conditions and entitlements of members.”
Maurice Blackburn Principal Lawyer, Kamal Farouque, welcomed the court’s decision.
“ASU members at Maribyrnong Council will lose their long-standing Council jobs due to the unfortunate decision by the Council to outsource home care services,” Mr Farouque said.
“The Federal Court decision means that Council workers who are made redundant will be entitled to redundancy payments, estimated to be a total of $2.37 million.”
“The Council claimed that it was not required to pay redundancy pay. But the Court has decided that the enterprise agreement gives workers that right if they lose their Council jobs due to redundancy.”
“Many other local government Council enterprise agreements have similar provisions. So, the decision will be an important precedent.”
“It is a great win for the ASU and its members,” Mr Farouque said.