Meaning of ‘day’

Mondelez v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138

For each year of service, an employee was ‘entitled to 10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave’6.  X worked three 12 hour shifts a week, rather than standard hours for the same total.  Was X entitled to 10 days at 7.2 hours per day under the ‘industrial’ meaning of ‘day’, or 10 days at 12 hours per day under the ordinary ‘calendar’ meaning (as the union said)? 

Bromberg & Rangiah JJ chose the latter based on purpose/context7, ordinary meaning and decided cases8.  Dissenting, O’Callaghan J (at [209-216]) cited anomalies, extrinsic materials and absence of any precedent.  iTip – this case shows how the same principles can support different judicial viewpoints9.

This case is fromEpisode 52 of interpretation NOW!


6 s 96(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).9

7 Taylor [2014] HCA 9 (at [65]), SZTAL [2017] HCA 34 (at [14]).

8 RACV (2015) 249 IR 150, Glendell (2017) 249 IR 495.

9Special leave to appeal to the High Court has been sought.