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SA Breach of Terms Stated in Employment Contract - Options?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Vicki Eager, 3 August 2015.

  1. Vicki Eager

    Vicki Eager Member

    3 August 2015
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    When I started my employment at my current workplace in May 2013, I was offered as part of my salary, a company vehicle for full personal use. This was included under my pay rate in my employment contract. This was worded as follows: "Your ordinary rate of pay will be $26.50 exclusive of superannuation and will be paid fortnightly into a recognised banking institution of your nomination. Your salary package includes full private use of the Business car and your salary will be reviewed six (6) months from this date."

    Then six months later, I was given a pay rise which had been pre-negotiated, and I received a $2,500 p.a. salary increase, and I have since had another increment and am on $28.98 per hour. In September, 2014, I was told that my company vehicle was being sold, but I was not offered any compensation in return.

    In the beginning of my employment, I had another car, and I sold this at a loss because of the company car, and I thought that in time, it would pay for itself. However, I then had to turn around 14 months after I started and purchase another vehicle. I felt very vulnerable at the time this all happened as my husband also works at the same workplace and had major heart surgery so I was worried that if I caused any issues around the car, I might be "managed out of my job".

    So I would be very keen to know where I stand. I have "not for profit salary packaging" and the car cost me $27 per week difference in what I could package due to fringe benefits, and obviously this changed when my car was taken away, however my overall pay did not change when I lost the car, there was just more cash and less "salary packaging". I have print outs from my salary packaging with and without the car and there is a substantial difference in the "grossed up" amount of my pay. Considerably less, and that does not include the petrol, tyeares, servicing, registration, insurance and wear and tear on my own car.

    I asked the Fair Work Ombudsman but they did not offer me any advice, stating that they only get involved with things if it is below the Award. I just wonder about the point of having a contract if it can be broken that easily to the detriment of an employee. Another employee recently has had a company vehicle sold, and they were at least offered a petrol card for full personal use, but I was offered nothing.

    Are you able to give me some help, please?
  2. Michael T

    Michael T Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Does your current employment contract provide anything in relation to compensation if the company car is sold? Because from what you have said, I would have thought that they offered you use of the car in your salary packaging and then have increased your pay to reflect the change from not having a car in your salary packaging.

    You need an employment lawyer to assist you to give you personalised legal advice, read through your contract, etc, and assist you with the process if they advised you that the loss you'd be claiming was something your employer should be covering.
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