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HR administrator ignores call from the FWC

By Portner Press on September 6th, 2019
  1. Industrial Instruments
  2. Fair Work Act

Bakers Delight may now have become ‘bakers’ dismay’ for many of its employees in New South Wales, because of an HR administrator who was apparently too busy to answer a scheduled call from the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The HR administrator made an application to the FWC to terminate its 13-year-old collective agreement and transfer the company’s employees to award rates so they would be better off.

Under Bakers Delight’s current deal, Saturday and Sunday night shift penalty rates are limited.

In the statutory declaration, the HR administrator simply stated:

“Bakers Delight Holdings LTD intends to terminate the Bakers Delight Holdings LTD Collective Agreement (New South Wales) 2006 and transfer onto the General Retail Industry Award 2010 as employees will be better off overall.”

“As there were no other details provided in the statutory declaration, I determined I would hold a telephone mention,” FWC Deputy President Richard Clancy said.

He needed to confirm:

  • how many employees are covered by the agreement;
  • what classifications they are employed in;
  • whether or not they are aware the application was made; and
  • the current pay rates of the employees covered by the agreement, as it nominally expired about 10 years ago.

“When my associate attempted to contact [the HR administrator] for the telephone mention, she was advised that [the HR administrator] was not available,” Deputy President Clancy said.

“The receptionist for Bakers Delight was very diligent in requiring my associate to explain the reason for the telephone call but not able to disclose why [the HR administrator] was not available, beyond stating she was in a meeting.

“As such, the telephone mention could not proceed and I was not able to obtain information that would have assisted in the further conduct of the application.

“It is not possible for me to make the findings I am required to make pursuant to s.226 of the Act due to the lack of information in the application and accompanying statutory declaration.

“The application … is therefore dismissed.

“Should Bakers Delight wish to make a new application to terminate the agreement, it is welcome to do so.

“I would simply make the point that the initial consideration of any subsequent application will be assisted by the inclusion of the particulars I have referred to … in the statutory declaration accompanying it.

“Being responsive to future contact from the Commission would also be worthwhile.”

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