NSW: Caravan Repair Company Fined After Firing Grieving Worker

The Fair Work Ombudsman has fined a caravan sales and repair business and its directors after it dismissed a worker who had taken time off to care for his dying mother.

The company and its directors were fined a total of $ 18,700.

The caravan repair and maintenance worker took leave in December 2010 and January 2011 to care for his mother, assist with funeral arrangements and be with his family.

An employee since mid-2009, he had already accrued entitlements for the leave he took and kept his boss informed about his mother’s health and his leave requirements.

But on his return to work he was dismissed.

He received a letter stating that his ”performance and commitment to [the company] has failed to reach expectations”.

The directors told Fair Work inspectors that one reason the employee was fired was that he had taken leave, making the dismissal unlawful under workplace laws.

An investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman resulted in the company being fined $ 14,300 and both directors a further $ 2200 each after they admitted their involvement in the dismissal.

Federal Magistrate Kenneth Raphael also ordered the company to pay the employee $ 2099 compensation.


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