One Key Class Action

Adero Law filed a class action in the Federal Court in April 2020 against labour hire company, One Key, and other entities within the corporate group, on behalf of group members who were engaged as casual employees under the RECS (Qld) Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement 2015.  This enterprise agreement was declared void and set aside by order of the Federal Court of Australia, rendering the previous casual employment under the enterprise agreement unlawful. To be eligible for this class action you must have received payslips that bear the ABN 80 605 016 206.

One Key Resources Pty Ltd (ABN 30 141 650 259) and One Key Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 42 150 149 643) are named as the First and Second respondents to the proceeding as accessories to the contraventions of One Key Workforce (In Liquidation).

In April 2020, Adero Law filed a class action lawsuit against One Key, and other entities within the corporate group, alleging it unlawfully engaged its employees as casual employees under the RECS (Qld) Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement 2015 (the RECS Agreement).  The RECS Agreement was declared void and set aside by order of the Federal Court of Australia.

The RECS Agreement supposedly covered employees of One Key Workforce who would otherwise have been covered by the Black Coal Mining Industry Award 2010 (the Award).  Unlike the Award, the RECS Agreement allowed for the engagement of ‘Production and Engineering’ employees as casual employees meaning that they did not accrue benefits including annual leave entitlements.

The RECS Agreement was approved by the Fair Work Commission on 30 October 2015 and came into effect on 6 November 2015.  Approximately thirteen months later on 28 November 2016, an interested trade union sought a judicial review of the RECS Agreement.

At the conclusion of the judicial review, it was ordered that the decision to approve the RECS Agreement was “void ab initio”, which meant it was to be treated as invalid from when it was approved.

This decision had the effect of reverting all employees of One Key Workforce back to the terms of the Award, not only moving forward, but also retrospectively from the time that the RECS Agreement was approved.  This means group members were covered by the Award from 6 November 2015.

As the Award does not allow for the engagement of ‘Production and Engineering’ employees as casual employees, group members who had been engaged as casual employees under the RECS Agreement must therefore be converted to permanent employees under the Award.

It is alleged group members in this class action have suffered loss relating to the non-payment of their annual leave entitlements, as well as entitlements relating to termination and redundancy payments when their employment was terminated.  We now seek to recover those losses through this class action.

Adero Law encourages anyone who worked for One Key Workforce from 6 November 2015 to register for this class action.  Please contact Adero Law via the “Register Interest” button to receive further information about your options and legal rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although circumstances can vary, the general structure of a class action proceeding run by Adero Law is as follows:

  1. A wrongdoing occurs that affects a group of people (claimants) in a similar way.
  2. Adero’s Claim Origination team investigate the wrongdoing by conducting due diligence investigations and liaising with a lead claimant.
  3. The claim is filed in Court.
  4. Pleadings and other Court documents are finalised and filed with the Court.
  5. Claimants have a chance to opt-out of the class action.
  6. Evidence is compiled and the claim is prepared for trial.
  7. If appropriate, mediation or settlement discussions take place between the parties.
  8. If a settlement agreement is not reached, the claim proceeds to trial.
  9. Once a settlement agreement has been reached, claimants are notified, and a timetable put in place for any objections or submissions to be made ahead of a hearing.
  10. A settlement hearing occurs.
  11. If the settlement is approved, a distribution scheme will be implemented under the guidance of the Court.

Yes. Only the lead claimant will be named in the class action. Your name will not be made public unless you have specifically consented.

Whilst individual circumstances will vary, Adero undertakes due diligence in relation to likely damages calculations. The amount of underpayment varies depending on the claim being brought, such as a breach of the enterprise agreement or a breach of the National Employment Standards, and the hourly rates used.

Adero will make every effort to recover all potential underpayments owing to members of a class action (claimants).

Yes. Adero Law will recover its fees from the winnings. Adero law bears the costs and risk of the class action and therefore also collects an uplift on those fees from the winnings. The amount that Adero Law takes from the winnings is supervised by the Court.

Claimants should be aware that the recovery of any underpayment will be subject to terms of the retainer. For more information on the terms of the retainer of any current class action, please request a copy of the retainer by emailing or by contacting (02) 6189 1022.

No. Your employer cannot terminate your employment for participating in a class action. This will amount to an adverse action. Moreover, your name will not be disclosed without your express consent. This means that your employer cannot know you joined an action unless you tell them, you tell someone else or instruct us to disclose your name. We do not identify our clients, not even to other members of the action.

No. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) s 340 prevents employers from treating you differently for exercising your workplace rights. It is unlawful to punish an employee in any way for joining a class action. If you believe this has happened to you, contact us at Adero Law and we will promptly investigate.

No. Both union members and non-members are encouraged to join so that we can win back the entitlements that are owed to everyone.

Yes. Our claimants include current and past workers.

We want to hear your story!

Who did you work for and what happened? Upon submission, our team of lawyers will be in contact with you to see whether you have a claim.

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