The potency of the reverse onus of proof in general protections’ cases

The potency of the reverse onus of proof is general protections claims is evident in Heraud v Roy Morgan Research Ltd (2016) FCCA 185, in which the Federal Circuit Court upheld a number of claims of adverse action (her redundancy) alleged by the employee to have been motivated by her taking parental leave and/or seeking flexible working arrangements, both of which are workplace rights which she was exercising.
The company decision makers who made the employee redundant after she exercised these rights had had left the company by the time the matter came on for trial and the company did not seek to explain why they had not been called to give evidence to rebut the presumption (which arises once a reasonable level of satisfaction about the facts). On that basis the court had little difficulty concluding that the applicant had established that she was the victim of unlawful conduct.