Workers in Victoria are entitled to long-term leave (LSL) after 7 years of uninterrupted employment with an employer. LSL arrives every 60 weeks from an uninterrupted job in one week and applies to full-time, part-time, casual and seasonal workers, apprentices and apprentices (employees). From July 1, 2019 […] Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), a violation of an enterprise agreement can result in compensation orders and fines. Failure to comply with an enterprise agreement can have serious financial consequences. This was illustrated recently in the case of Ridd v James Cook University (No. 2)  FCCA 2489 (Ridd v JCU). Professor Ridd tried in the Federal Court of Justice. He argued that his conduct was protected by Article 14 of the JCU Enterprise Agreement, which codified academics` right to freedom of thought. Justice Vasta stated that it would be “inappropriate” for a document such as the code of conduct, which can be amended by jCU, to repeal an enterprise agreement clause that can only be amended in accordance with the law.
But this was not a case on the benefits of different scientific positions. On the contrary, as Vasta J.A. put it: “This trial simply dealt with the proper implementation of a clause in an enterprise agreement.” Our work team is happy to assist your company in negotiating, communicating or archiving business as part of its enterprise agreement. The Court argued in favour of Professor Ridd because the JCU violated Clause 14 of the Enterprise Agreement by finding that Professor Ridd had violated the code of conduct by censoring him, instructing him to keep the disciplinary process confidential and terminating his activity. As Ridd himself told the court: “Most big institutions don`t want a bar from someone who`s been through my kind of controversy.” On October 23, 2017, JCU wrote to Ridd stating, in Vasta`s words, that he had “denigrated colleagues and did not restrict confidentiality in a series of emails,” contrary to the code of conduct. . With the confrontation with the university`s arguments about the legality of its behavior, vasta wrote that “the university claims that… the exercise of intellectual freedom must be carried out in accordance with the code of conduct. “It probably has a significant impact on universities – especially universities – on the notion of intellectual freedom,” says Aaron Goonrey, a partner at Lander-Rogers. Finally, Vasta found that the confidentiality clause in the EA serves to protect the interests of employees involved in disciplinary and other proceedings – it does not impose confidentiality obligations on Ridd. Section 54 did not give the JCU the power to give Ridd the confidentiality instructions and nothing in that clause exceeded its claims under Clause 14.