NSW Made redundant - commissions being withheld

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Multifaceted

Member
7 July 2019
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Hi there,
Recently (with Covid-19 used as an excuse but not genuine) I was made redundant from my job of nearly 10 years. Part of my job involved sales, from which I earned commissions above my base pay (base is really low so commissions are my lifeline). My former employer (got along great with the boss but new manager came in and made it clear they wanted to get rid of existing staff in order to hire their "own" people and fired all previous exisiting employees leaving only the new recruits in jobs - but I digress), has been trying to shaft me on my payout entitlements.

My main concern is that one of the functions of the business is events, and with the covid-19 restrictions face to face events have been banned, so the business have postponed the event until next year, over a year from now. For this event I not only achieved my target sales, but exceeded them by over 200%. All sales were finalised, and payments have been received by the company with the money in the bank. My former employer stating that because the event has not gone ahead yet they will withhold my commissions, which are in the vicinity of $50k, and also implied that what I would receive would be less than the standard commissions that have been paid to me throughout my employment with them.

I am trying to find out the legalities of this. From where I am sitting, I not only did my job in achieving my targets but went through the roof in my sales (and have always been the top sales performer - sorry not trying to blow smoke but it just a fact and I worked really hard to help this business gain success as I valued it and naively though they valued me). I feel, in it is shown in the finalised sales and money in the company bank, that I completed the requirements for earning/payment of my commissions. The former employer countered that anything could happen in the meantime and the event might disintegrate for whatever reason. I do not trust the new manager not to find a way of getting out of paying me, and I don't think they are fiscally responsible.

I really need my commissions now. Not in over a years time, if they even actually pay it then. They have also shafted me in my annual leave. My last payslip showed my annual leave accrued but when they paid it out they revised it down by over $6000 stating they had "forgotten" to subtract leave I had taken. But the leave I had taken was for time in lieu of overtime, instead of being paid it the company policy was to accrue time in lieu, which all other staff also took. Now not only has my overtime not been paid, but the time in lieu which I took in good faith as part of company policy they are trying to pretend didn't exist (though all other staff were able to take theirs) and they have take it off my annual leave, shorting me of over $6k. In addition to this, I've checked my award and it says I should have been paid annual leave loading on all annual leave. They never paid this either, so that's another good few grand that they've neglected to pay.

Sorry for the long post, I am just at the end of my tether with trying to get the money I earned by my own hard work to be paid by these people who, after nearly 10 years of service, booted me and the rest of the existing staff out of the building without any consultation. So much for loyalty, it seems.

I'm going ahead with a case for the payment of my entitlements, I was just hoping that someone may be able to shed some light on what happens in this commission situation? So far all I can and is relating to real estate deals going through before commission is paid, but that's not my case. I did the deals, had the money paid to the company and finalised and just want what I earned, no more, no little.

Thanks a lot for any help anyone might be able to give. Cheers.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Sounds like you need a lawyer.

Commissions are likely payable, but a lawyer needs to read the employment contract.
 

Multifaceted

Member
7 July 2019
2
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1
Thanks Rod, I appreciate your comments. I will get it checked through by an employment lawyer. The employment contract was vague and has not been updated in the last decade since my role evolved dramatically. It really doesn't say much of anything, a DIY thing from what I gather with glaringly inconstancies throughout. I was originally hired on a much higher base and next to no commissions, but that changed years ago, without any paperwork into the much lower base and set commissions, which until now have been paid in accordance to the verbal agreement we changed to. Now they are disregarding all precedents of the commission structure that has been in place for years (but still kept me on the much lower base in my payout) and have refused to pay the annual leave/time in lieu/overtime which was accrued. No paperwork exists that stated any sort of annualised salary to include these entitlements either, they just seem to think they can kick me (and the other staff out) and make up what they want to pay in entitlements.
Thanks mate, appreciate your time in reading and responding.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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915
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Hmm, oral contracts are still enforceable, especially when previous actions/pay reinforce your version of the oral contract.
 
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