On 21 February 2019, the Full Federal Court will hear an application by Mondelēz International for a declaration relating to the meaning of the expression “10 days of paid/personal carer’s leave” in section 96 of the Fair Work Act 2009. The relevant employees of Mondelēz work 12-hour shifts at the company’s Claremont plant in Tasmania.

Ai Group Workplace Lawyers is representing Mondelēz in the proceedings and have briefed Mr Stuart Wood QC and Mr Dimitri Ternovki of Counsel. The Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, has intervened in the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The Mondelēz v AMWU case has important implications for most employers in Australia. In payroll systems, personal/carer’s leave entitlements are typically recorded in hours, not days, on the basis of the number of ordinary hours that an employee works. For example, employees who work 38 hours per week are typically credited with 76 hours of paid personal/carer’s leave per year, regardless of whether their ordinary hours are arranged on the basis of 7.6, 8, 10 or 12 hours per day.

The current enterprise agreement agreed to by Mondelēz International states that the employees at the Claremont plant are entitled to 96 hours of personal/carer’s leave per year. This is a lot more generous than the 76 hours that employees are entitled to under the Fair Work Act if the Act is interpreted in the manner in which Ai Group Workplace Lawyers, Mondelēz International and the Australian Government contends.

If you would like more information about personal/carer’s leave please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77.

Alternatively, if you would like advice about drafting enterprise agreement, matching your payroll system to your enterprise agreement, or making submissions to the member assist team of the Fair Work Commission approving an enterprise agreement, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at info@aigroupworkplacelawyers.com.au.

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