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Unfair DismissalOctober 27, 2014
A waiter of a Thai restaurant on the Gold Coast has been sacked because he turned 65. The waiter took long service leave and once he returned his employers Theravanish Investments Pty Ltd did not roster him on for full-time work. The employee had been employed for over 15 years, welcoming and assisting guests, taking orders and setting tables.
The employee wrote a letter outlining his concerns to his employers, and suggested that the employers had underpaid the waiter $60,000. The restaurant owners response was that they had a policy in place that ‘the company does not employ any staff that attains the retirement age, which is 65 years’. Since the waiter had turned 65 whilst on long service leave his employment ceased because of his age.
The waiter would have happily continued to sufficiently work a 35 hour week and thought he was a valued employee due to his ‘age and linguistic circumstances’. The employer was ordered to pay the waiter compensation for failing to to communicate the retirement policy to the man, failing to provide a termination record and there was also a lack of wage related record keeping. The breach in the employment contract resulted in the waiter receiving $20,790.
Theravanish Investments Pty Ltd despite receiving employment advice from their accountant failed to understand the obligations of a retirement policy. Employees of retiring age may elect to work beyond them and are protected by law. Small businesses like the Thai restaurant often receive advice and information on all business matters from financial advisers, in many incidences, however when it comes to employment law employers and business owners need to know the facts.
If you are a business owner and are not up to date with the Fair Work Act 2009 or employment obligations call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. Employsure helps SMEs to tackle all things employment relations, we are ready to take your call.
*Information sourced via Workplace Express website.