When will a reduction of wages be a dismissal?

The Fair Work Commission has determined that a unilateral requirement by an employer that an employee accept a 20% reduction in remuneration was a dismissal.

“Having considered the facts of this application I am satisfied that the demotion of Mr Fields involved a 20% reduction in his remuneration. I am satisfied that this was a significant reduction. I am satisfied that the respondent’s unilateral reduction of the applicant’s remuneration by 20% was a dismissal of the applicant from the respondent’s employment at the respondent’s initiative or, in the alternative, a cessation of employment by way of a resignation forced by the conduct of the respondent.”


Fields v Moscou Holdings Pty Ltd ATF The Penguin Trust (2015) FWC 6878 delivered 16 October 2015 per Drake SDP