Wage Theft: Qantas Caught Out Again

The Australian Services Union, together with the Transport Workers Union and Flight Attendants Association of Australia took Qantas to court as they have been incorrectly applying JobKeeper and delaying the payment of shift penalties and overtime.
That didn’t fly with us or our members. The Federal Court has just handed down their decision and we won!
We are now calling for Qantas to accept the court’s decision and back-pay all underpaid employees. There is never any excuse for wage theft.

The Federal Court ruled that Qantas misinterpreted the Fair Work Act when calculating JobKeeper payments. This is a landmark win for union members at Qantas.

The ASU brought the case after Qantas short-changed employees over penalty rates earned on the Easter Long Weekend. Qantas minimised the amounts paid to employees by counting penalties paid on a later payday towards the $1500 JobKeeper payment for that later fortnight.

Justice Flick’s ruling is that only moneys that are both earned for work in a particular JobKeeper fortnight and paid in that same fortnight can be counted towards the minimum payment guarantee. This is in many ways a better outcome than we thought possible. It means that if you are not paid for the work you perform in one JobKeeper fortnight in the same fortnight, then that money cannot be counted towards JobKeeper for any fortnight.

Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union, Linda White, said Qantas’s behaviour was “the clearest example of wage theft we’ve seen in the aviation sector”.

“Qantas have a legal and moral responsibility to pay workers their penalties, but it used tricky legal maneuvers to dodge that responsibility.”

Read more

The Guardian: Qantas must pass on full jobkeeper subsidy to workers, federal court rules

Australian Financial Review: Qantas underpaid workers through JobKeeper misuse

Mirage News: Qantas workers to receive thousands in unpaid wages as airline loses Jobkeeper case