Industrial awards

Tomvald v Toll Transport [2017] FCA 1208

Although industrial agreements are generally to be construed with a degree of latitude or generosity, a court is not free to read into them preconceived notions of fairness.  Nor, said Flick J (at [37-38]), are awards to be read ‘in a vacuum divorced from industrial realities’15.  Context is important.

The issue was whether a worker was entitled to convert from casual to full-time employment on a ‘like-for-like’ basis under the enterprise agreement.  The employer having breached the agreement in this regard was liable to pay compensation.  iTip – this case illustrates the function and limits of context when dealing with industrial  instruments.

This case is from Episode 30 of interpretationNOW!


15 City of Wanneroo [2006] FCA 813 (at [57]), quoted.