This follows a judgment handed down on November 22 2019, when the Federal Court declared the respondent, Bulga Underground Operations, contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Administration Act 1992 by failing to pay to its employee John Mayhew the full amount payable to him in respect of untaken long service leave after being made redundant.
Bulga was subsequently ordered to pay Mayhew compensation of $8904.45 plus interest of $1550.00.
Since the November judgment Glencore has paid out more than $550,000 to 72 former Bulga employees for untaken long service leave.
In handing down the penalty on June 11 Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney said Glencore's human resources manager incorrectly based the staff employee's long service leave payout on his "notional base pay" of 80% of his total salary, rather than at the required 90.5% of ordinary hours.
"It may be accepted that the contravention largely arose out of what turned out to be an incorrect view or belief taken by certain management staff at Bulga concerning the determination of the base rate of pay of staff employees for the purpose of calculating long service leave entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act," Wigney said.
"It does not follow, however, that the position taken by Bulga and its conduct in arriving at, and maintaining its position in relation to, the determination of employees' base rate of pay was necessarily entirely reasonable.
"Moreover, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Bulga perhaps gave the issue insufficient attention and consideration … even when the opposing view of [Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia] was clearly articulated in January and March 2018."
Finding the breach fell at the lower end of the spectrum, the judge imposed a $10,000 penalty out of a maximum of $54,000, payable to APESMA.
Australia's Mining Monthly approached Glencore for comment.