By Charles Power
In Lacson v Australian Postal Corporation (2019) an Australia Post employee worked two part-time jobs at two different locations, performing different duties at each site.
Both jobs were covered by an enterprise agreement. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides that an enterprise agreement applies to an employee in relation to particular employment.
In the Lacson case, the employee made a claim for overtime, rest relief and a meal allowances amounting to $200,000 on the basis that the two jobs were one “particular employment” for the purposes of the enterprise agreement.
The employer defended this claim arguing that the two jobs were separate and distinct permanent part-time positions, under separate and distinct contracts of employment.
The Court ruled that the employee offered and accepted two, genuine, part-time jobs.
While there was no evidence that the employer was trying to evade obligations under the enterprise agreement, the Court observed that it may be an unusual situation for a single employee to have two different jobs with one employer, and two contracts of employment.
However, the employee had been paid overtime, and other entitlements, in respect of each of his jobs, where those entitlements applied under the enterprise agreements.
The fact that the employee found himself performing two different jobs, at two different locations, with two different kinds of work, for one employer, was a function of choices he had made.
The employee’s “dual employment” was a “legal and factual reality” the Court said.