Kentz Australia vs Union: Kentz Wins
Summary: The Fair Work Commission has ruled that fly-in, fly-out workers should not receive extra pay if demobilised from a job while on a rest and relaxation period.....
The Fair Work Commission has ruled that fly-in, fly-out workers should not receive extra pay if demobilised from a job while on a rest and relaxation period.
The FWC's ruling relates to a dispute between Kentz Australia and the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia, in regards to termination and R&R provisions of the engineering and construction group's agreement for employees working on the Ichthys LNG project in Darwin.
Melbourne commissioner Michelle Bissett previously ruled in favour of the union on the matter.
Australian Mines and Metals Association legal director Amanda Mansini said resource employers welcomed the FWC confirming on appeal that R&R was akin to weekends and was not a special kind of leave.
"A full bench of the FWC has today upheld the longstanding practice in the resources industry whereby employers can give employees notice of demobilisation that runs concurrently with a period of R&R," Ms Mansini said.
"The erroneous implication of the original decision was that employees should be paid-out of their R&R time if it falls within notice of their demobilisation.
"The resources industry intervened based on widespread and ongoing concerns about the barrage of union claims being made for back pay based on the decision at first instance."
Ms Mansini said any argument that R&R was an entitlement that should be paid out was fundamentally flawed, and failed to take into account the unique work practices of large-scale remote resources projects and long-standing practices when project work wraps up.
"The union line being argued here is like expecting to be paid-out for the weekend when your job finishes on a Friday afternoon," she said.
"That logic wouldn't wash with employees working a standard Monday-Friday job, and thankfully it hasn't washed with the full bench of the FWC."