The Fair Work Ombudsman will seek special leave from the High Court to appeal a full Federal Court ruling on whether hundreds of casual mushroom workers on non-compliant piecework agreements are entitled by default to be paid hourly rates under the horticultural award.
The labour hire company that last year laid out $150,000 to settle an underpayments claim brought by five fruit pickers has settled another case on behalf of more than 20 workers with "acceptable monetary terms" and the right to return to work.
After providing $150,000 to settle an underpayments claim brought by five fruit pickers last year, labour hire company Agri Labour Australia is facing a new claim from 26 seasonal workers alleging they were short-paid more than $200,000.
A lawyer representing five labour hire fruit pickers who withdrew an underpayments test case after winning a $150,000 settlement says he would welcome a "global settlement" for other claimants, while the employer accuses the NUW of funding the litigation in an effort to extend its patch.
Five migrant fruit pickers at the centre of a $10 million Federal Court claim against a labour hire company and its owners are seeking to be recognised as casuals, alleging their contracts for piecework were invalid and based average take home pay on an unrealistic workload.
The FWC has ordered abattoir operator Teys Australia to backpay thousands of dollars to meatworkers for incentive scheme underpayments during a long period of "confusion" and "uncertainty" about the operation of its enterprise agreement and an associated incentive payment system.