The first JobKeeper unfair dismissal claim has been filed in the Fair Work Commission.
The case involves a worker at a Gold Coast plastic surgery clinic who claims she should not have been made redundant.
Instead, the woman argues the company should have kept her employed using the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
First JobKeeper unfair dismissal claim involves non-genuine redundancy
Lisa Shrimpton worked at the Sheree Moko Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Robina for six years.
In early April, Dr Moko made the beauty therapist and patient co-ordinator position redundant.
Management told the worker a government ban on elective surgery left them with no choice other than redundancy.
However, the clinic continued to receive skin cancer patient referrals.
Furthermore, Shrimpton claims another staff member had moved into her position and the practice had applied for JobKeeper payments for other staff.
Shrimpton’s legal team argues the redundancy is not genuine because elective surgery will soon restart.
Therefore, Shrimpton’s work will still need to be done.
Management first stood Shrimpton down on annual leave on 31 March, confirming the redundancy is not a reflection on her work performance.
However, she claims the practice manager selected her to be stood down because she is paid the most.
“WHEN A REDUNDANCY IS REALLY AN UNFAIR DISMISSAL”
Coronavirus used as excuse to get rid of workers
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims says his firm is receiving a huge increase in calls from workers.
He says many bosses are using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to get rid of troublesome employees.
“We had one lady who worked 34 years in the textile industry, and the boss told her he will start paying her the $750 JobKeeper subsidy a week, cutting her wage below award minimums,” he said.
“He then told her, ‘it’s either that, or I’ll make you redundant – take it or leave it’.”
Mr Heffernan says a business cannot cut a worker’s wage to match the $750 JobKeeper payment, and nor can they make an employee work more hours.
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