QLD Back Pay Withheld - Sign Terms of Employment Settlement?

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Pukekohe

Member
26 June 2015
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Is my employer entitled under employment law to impose a terms of settlement agreement on me to sign in order to pay me my back pay where I was under paid for 4years, to release them from any past, present and future claims? Do I have to sign it in order to get paid? I also do not agree with some of the clauses as there are still two unresolved issues from this period of time that they have not given me justified reasons as to why they are not paying me for those.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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DO NOT SIGN!!!

You need to be in 100% agreement with all terms of the settlement. Have someone else read it as well. Look for different ways in which the agreement can be misinterpreted to your disadvantage then get those terms changed.

Do I have to sign it in order to get paid?

No. But you may need to go to the Fair Work Ombudsman AND sue the employer to get your money. Reaching an agreement is best if you can negotiate the terms you want. Doesn't hurt to nicely remind the employer that they may be up for civil penalties if they have broken the law and you take them to court and win. If you go down the legal path make sure you apply for a costs order if you win. Think you apply immediately the court says you have won. If you don't apply at this time I think you miss out on asking for costs altogether.
 
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Pukekohe

Member
26 June 2015
3
0
1
Hi Rod,

Thank you so much for your speedy response. That is exactly what I thought. I spoke with Fair Work today and they advised me to lodge a claim asap but they were unable to advise me whether to sign the agreement. I responded to my employer's request by email, and have asked them to amend certain clauses of the agreement. I was not aware of the costs order, nor the civil penalties so thank you for that additional info. I will look further info those in the likely event that they will not be cooperative in accommodating my requests. Thank you very much for clarifying my concerns.

Regards,
pukekohe
 

Ivy

Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
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Hi there,

I second what @Rod said. If your employer has been underpaying you, in the sense that you haven't been paid the award rate (or rate on the enterprise bargaining agreement) then they are liable for those costs. Period.

Also, they can't limit their liability for further claims that relate to your legal entitlements. For example they can't make you sign something that says "we will back pay you for the last 6 months but not for the 12 months before that and we won't recognise prior annual leave entitlements". Your legal employment rights cannot be contracted out of.
 

Pukekohe

Member
26 June 2015
3
0
1
Thank you Ivy. I appreciate this additional feedback. I have spent the last week trying to arrange a mediation but they have refused my request, and have also refused to respond to my email that I mentioned above. I have now lodged an application with FWA. Hopefully they can sort it out, eventually!