Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Claim for two hours underpaid each week made out

The Commission has upheld a denied contractual benefit claim where an electrician alleged that in the course of his employment by both the first and second respondents he was only paid on the basis of a 38 ordinary hour working week even though his contract of employment entitled him to be paid for 40 hours per week.

It was held by Senior Commissioner Kenner that the relevant parts of the letter of 30 March 2015 were clear in their terms of the applicant’s employment. Also, when the second respondent became incorporated, the first respondent continued on in the employment relationship on the terms set out in the letter of 30 March 2015.

The Senior Commissioner determined that the applicant was a credible witness who did work the alleged 40 hours per week. The respondent’s assertion that they deducted two hours’ pay per week indicated that the contract of employment letter did provide for ordinary paid working hours of 40 per week and that nothing in either the State or federal awards, or relevant legislation in relation to minimum standards, precluded the working of two additional hours per week, as long as it was paid for.

As the Commission was satisfied on the required balance of probabilities that the applicant’s claim was made out, the Senior Commissioner ordered payment to the applicant accordingly.

The decision can be read here.

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