On 22 December 2017, our team filed a class action lawsuit against Airservices Australia (Airservices) on behalf of approximately 350 individuals (claimants) who had signed a management contract that offered less favourable employment entitlements than the applicable Enterprise Agreement.
Adero has been instructed that from 1996 to 2017, Airservices introduced management contracts to various individuals in their employ at the levels ASA7 to ASA9. For these contracts to meet the minimum requirements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the entitlements contained within must be either equal to, or an improvement on, the entitlements provided in the relevant Enterprise Agreement. Adero reviewed a number of these management contracts which fell short of this standard.
As such, claimants of this class action are seeking compensation for the shortfall in entitlements when compared against what they should have received under the relevant Enterprise Agreement. This shortfall comprises of items such as redundancy benefits, superannuation benefits and salary increases.
The class action is progressing through the Court process. We are currently awaiting a decision to be handed down in relation to the first common question in these proceedings. Class actions require the Court to answer at least one questions which is common to all claimants. Often there are several of these common questions. Sometimes, as is the case here, the Court will decide to hold a hearing and make a decision on one or more of these common questions first, before proceeding to a final hearing on the rest of the common questions and other issues in the proceedings.
We expect to receive the Court’s judgment on the first common question in the coming weeks. The Court’s decision will determine the next steps in the proceedings, however we anticipate that the proceedings will resolve within the next 12-18 months.
The Airservices class action is an open class of claimants. This means that any individual who is eligible to join the class action are automatically included, unless they have chosen to opt-out. If you believe that you are an eligible claimant in this class action, you are welcome to contact Adero Law via the “Register Interest” button to receive further information such as updates as the Court process progresses.
If you signed a management contract, you may be able to claim the following:
The management contracts provide fewer redundancy benefits for individual with lengthy periods of continuous service. Employees made redundant were given a payment capped at 6 months’ worth of their final salary. The Enterprise Agreement provides for a maximum of 75 weeks of salary depending on the length of continuous service.
There was a significant shortfall in the superannuation paid into the accounts of employees in accumulated funds superannuation schemes. The management contracts provided for superannuation to be paid at a lower rate than what is stipulated in the applicable Enterprise Agreement.
Employees were granted two extra days on top of annual leave during the Christmas period in the relevant Enterprise Agreement and this was not reflected in the management contracts.
The Airservices Australia Enterprise Agreements provided for an incremental salary increase in employees’ base salaries. We have been instructed by our claimants that this was not reflected in the management contracts that they were given.