Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Application for summary judgement against a claim granted in part

The Industrial Magistrate’s Court has, in part, granted an application for summary judgement dismissing a claim for unpaid annual leave by a Master on an even time roster of 28 days on and 28 days off (Even Time Roster) where the parties were covered by the Go Inshore Port Hedland Agreement 2009 (Cth) (2009 Agreement), Go Inshore Port Hedland Agreement 2013 (Cth) (2013 Agreement), and Go Inshore Port Hedland Enterprise Agreement 2016 (Cth) (2016 Agreement).

The claimant argued that while the relevant clauses in the Agreements provided that annual leave will be taken during the rostered off-duty periods, this does not mean he will be deemed to have taken, and should be paid, annual leave during those periods.

The respondent contended that the Agreements deemed the claimant to have taken his annual leave during the off periods of the Even Time Roster. That is, annual leave accrued and was taken in the same ratio and therefore no claim for unpaid annual leave under the Agreements can be made. 

Industrial Magistrate Scaddan found that, as there were three Agreements covering the span of the claimant’s employment, it was necessary to look at the terms of each Agreement separately.

Scaddan IM found that the proper construction of the 2009 and 2013 Agreements were that they operated not only to require paid annual leave to be taken during the off-duty period, but deemed any annual leave to be included in the off-duty periods of the Even Time Roster such that the respondent had no ongoing annual leave liability. Scaddan IM found that the effect of this meant no outstanding unpaid annual leave were owed to the claimant during the operation of the 2009 and 2013 Agreements, where accrued annual leave was taken and paid on the same ratio.

However, Scaddan IM found that the 2016 Agreement raised the possibility of ongoing accrual of annual leave. Scaddan IM found that it was arguable that annual leave was not incorporated into the off-duty period, and ordered the claimant to lodge an amended Further and Better Particulars of Case Outline for his period of employment covered under the 2016 Agreement.

The Application was granted in part.

The decision can be read here.

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