What’s been happening at NSW IR

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Updated recoveries for 2019

Each day we deal with various enquiries regarding Long Service Leave via our 131 628 telephone service. NSW Industrial Relations inspectors have recovered $709,260.00 in Long Service Leave entitlements during 2019. Our inspectors deal with complex issues relating to various aspects of the Act. Our website has had 2,256,922 visits this year. Our Compliance Unit is working hard to assist NSW Employers in being compliant with NSW IR Legislation.

 

What’s been happening at NSW IR

Here's some news on how NSW IR is working to ensure compliance with relevant NSW Industrial Legislation. 2019 has seen the NSW IR Compliance Branch recover in total $670,183.77 from a total of 187 complaints. We’ve answered 11,315 phone enquiries on our 131 628 telephone service and responded to 2036 web enquiries. At the end of October our NSW IR Advisers have presented, for employers, 160 workshops and webinars with 2293 attendees. November and December will see NSW IR continue to provide these services. See details in this newsletter on upcoming workshops and webinars.

 

Recent Prosecution in the Taxi Industry

Under section 399 of the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996, NSW Industrial Relations inspectors have the power to prosecute any breach of the Act and its regulations. NSW Industrial Relations recently prosecuted G M Cabs Pty Ltd for the company’s failure to pay a bailee their annual leave entitlements. After a lengthy investigation and the issuing of court attendance notices, the bailor paid the complainant the amount outstanding shortly before the hearing date.

Notwithstanding that the bailee received the outstanding monies owed to them, NSW Industrial Relations pursued the matter in court in light of the conduct of the bailor and sought that the court impose a penalty to serve as a deterrent against future repeated behaviour. At the hearing, GM Cabs Pty Ltd entered a guilty plea and an agreed statement of facts was presented to the court.  GM Cabs Pty Ltd was ordered to pay a civil penalty in the sum of $500 and pay the prosecutor’s costs.

Bailees and bailors in the Taxi Industry within the Metropolitan Transport District are not covered by the National Workplace Relations System and the Fair Work Act 2009 and still remain within the NSW Industrial Relations System governed by the provisions of the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination, 1984.

The case involving GM Cabs Pty Ltd highlights the importance of Taxi operators understanding their obligations and responsibilities particularly with regard to pay and other entitlements of drivers, as provided for in the Determination. To help operators in the industry to better understand their obligations and requirements relating to this determination, NSW Industrial Relations has developed informative fact sheets, as well as providing a short-recorded webinar. A copy of the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination 1984, the fact sheets and other important information can be found on the NSW Industrial Relations website.

 

Recent Investigation Recovery

Industrial Inspectors recently completed an investigation of a complaint concerning alleged non-payment of long service leave on termination.

The employer at the time of termination did not believe that the complainant was entitled to long service leave given that they had less than five years employment with the current business owner (in line with the Long Service Leave Act 1955). However – the Inspector quickly discovered that the employee had in fact been employed as a full-time administration officer continuously for 23 years, albeit by three different employers.

If a business is sold in whole or in part and that business,

  • continues by the new owner as the same business,
  • and the worker is employed in that business,

the continuity of the worker’s service is not considered to be broken and the entitlement to long service leave will continue. This situation is referred to as a ‘transmission of business’ (and means long service leave entitlements continue to accrue) from one business to another, on this basis the Inspector concluded that the complainant’s service was continuous for 23 years without a break. At the time of termination the worker had accrued almost 20 weeks of long service leave. The current business owner was liable to pay the value of leave calculated at $23,515.94.

If you have questions about long service leave in NSW, we have a Frequently Asked Questions section on our website or you can contact our free telephone service on 131 628.