A contract cleaner in a South Brisbane shopping centre has won his job back after being dismissed for returning from visiting his dying mother later than he anticipated.
Jason took annual leave at short notice to visit his terminally ill mother in New Zealand. Not long after his arrival, she sadly passed away and he remained there for an extra two days to attend her funeral. Despite advising his employer of these circumstances, Jason returned to Brisbane only to be told that his job had been terminated on the grounds that he had abandoned his employment.
Jason immediately went to his union for support. United Voice filed an unfair dismissal application with the Fair Work Commission (FWC), the matter was listed for conference and in the midst of his despair United Voice successfully negotiated his return to his employment and back pay
“I have been a long-time member of United Voice,” Jason said. “And when I called on my union, they helped me in my hour of need.”
However, his wife was not so lucky.
“My partner was also terminated for abandoning her employment and because she was not a member of United Voice she had nowhere to turn to for help”.
Jason’s story shows us that union membership can be the difference between keeping your job or losing it when an employer acts unfairly.