You can’t escape award coverage with a fancy job title and a big salary

In our experience, many employers are under the false impression that, if they put an employee on a ‘common law contract’ and give them a fancy job title, they will be award-free, particularly if they are paid well above the award rates. The recent case of Karen Muscat v Chase Commercial Pty Limited [2018] FWC 1398 reminds us that this just isn’t always true. Background Ms Muscat was employed by property agent Chase Commercial Pty Ltd (Company) as its Director of Asset Management for 8½ years until her dismissal in November 2017. When Ms Muscat brought an unfair dismissal claim, the Company challenged her right to bring such a claim on the basis that she was paid above the high income threshold under the Fair Work Act 2009 and was not covered by the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 (Award). Ms Muscat argued she actually performed the duties of a Property Management Supervisor and was therefore covered by the Award and eligible to bring the claim. Fair…

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