High income threshold and fringe benefits tax

Section 382 of the Fair Work Act 2009 provides that a person is protected from unfair dismissal if at the time of dismissal the sum of the person’s annual rate of earnings is less than the high income threshold (currently $162,000.00).

In a recent decision, the Fair Work Commission has ruled that payments made on an annual basis by an employer to help reduce an employee’s fringe benefits tax liability are not counted as earnings which resulated in the employee’s remuneration falling below the high-income threshold for unfair dismissal and thus it was open to the employee to pursue an unfair dismissal claim.


David Paul Lonnie v WA Council on Addictions Incorporated [2023] FWC 673