Back pay prospect for thousands of workers

Daniel McCulloch
(Australian Associated Press)


Australian shift workers could be entitled to hundreds of hours in unpaid sick leave following a landmark decision by the workplace relations tribunal.

The Fair Work Commission ruling could potentially mean thousands of workers are eligible for entitlements stretching back six years.

The commission found the Fair Work Ombudsman has been miscalculating the amount of personal leave owed to those who work long shifts.

As a consequence, employers given incorrect advice have been paying staff who miss 12-hour shifts for just 7.2 hours.

The Australian Workers Union believes the decision could affect thousands of people.

“This is a momentous win for all Australians who work long shifts,” AWU national secretary Daniel Walton said on Wednesday.

“Ten days leave should mean 10 days leave and those who happen to work 12-hour shifts should not be disadvantaged.”


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