Compensation for unfair dismissal where there is no money loss

The Fair Work Commission has decided that it is appropriate to award an applicant found to have been unfairly dismissed a sum of $4,500 compensation even though the applicant did not suffer any financial loss due to having moved to a higher paying job as a result of his dismissal.

Here is the reasoning.

“In this matter, I have formed the view that the award of zero compensation in lieu of reinstatement is clearly inadequate having regard to all of the circumstances of this case. This is on the basis of the loss of job security, Mr Keogh’s length of service and the loss of service in relation to long service leave. Mr Keogh’s position with the Respondent was an ongoing role. The alternative position that Mr Keogh has obtained is a casual position. Mr Keogh has therefore lost the job security that he had with French Par-Bake. In addition, Mr Keogh no longer accrues personal leave, annual leave or long service leave and he has lost the service that he had accrued in relation to long service leave. Further, Mr Keogh had between 7 and 8 years’ service with the Respondent. Mr Keogh was therefore not a short serving employee.

For these reasons, the Commission determines that it is appropriate to award Mr Keogh a modest amount of compensation as an award of zero compensation is clearly inadequate. The amount to be ordered is $4,500 (gross).”

Keogh v French Par-Bake (2017) FWC 4293 delivered 15 September 2017 per Cribb C