Qantas ordered to pay up after losing JobKeeper legal fight – TravelMole true

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Qantas ordered to pay up after losing JobKeeper legal fight

Tuesday, 24 Sep, 2020 0

Qantas was found guilty of short-changing employees in the JobKeeper scheme, and is now potentially on the hook for millions of dollars in back pay.

The Federal Court ruled against Qantas in a landmark decision after unions filed legal action.

The court ruled Qantas wrongly implemented the wage subsidy so that overtime wasn’t paid until the following fortnight pay cycle, which effectively reduced pay for some workers including, baggage handlers and cabin crew.

If a worker was stood down in the next pay cycle, he or she would potentially lose the overtime payments. 

"This is an important win for Qantas workers who have had their pay raided by senior management in a disgraceful abuse of the JobKeeper scheme," the Transport Workers Union National Secretary Michael Kaine said.

"These workers have endured systematic wage theft at the hands of an out of control management."

This issue stems from Qantas’ existing workplace agreements with some groups of workers who are paid penalty rates for hours not required during a two-week pay cycle.

Justice Geoffrey Flick said: "The amount received by the employee during the second fortnight being the JobKeeper payment, cannot be ‘set off’ or otherwise called to account by Qantas to relieve it of its obligation to also pay the JobKeeper payment,"

Qantas slammed the ruling and is considering appealing.

"Qantas management had the full support of taxpayers during this crisis, receiving $800 million in public funding. It has taken that money and abused our systems, ripping workers off and planning to outsource workers," Kaine added.


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Pacific editor


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TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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