Fair Work Commission settle unfair dismissal following family dispute

On April 1, Mr Parente made an unfair dismissal application to the FWC, which awarded him $10,115 in compensation.

His father Egidio Parente has run Selective Smash Repairs Pty Ltd for many years. Neither of Pasquale Egidio’s parents or the business responded to the application other than by participation in unsuccessful conciliation. The business was not represented at the FWC hearing.

Commissioner Sarah McKinnon said there was no factual dispute to be resolved because there was no formal response to the application.

“The facts are as they are disclosed by Pasquale. The only question is whether the dismissal was unfair, and if so, what should be done about it,” she said.

“Pasquale was dismissed for arriving late for a family dinner. His relationship with his parents had been under strain for approximately one month, but there is insufficient context before me to explain why arriving late for dinner would have been a valid reason for dismissal. I am not satisfied that it was.

“I am left in the dark as to any additional contextual matters that should or could have been taken into account when considering if the dismissal was unfair. It is, to my mind, extremely sad that what was once a loving family has allowed relationships to deteriorate to the extent that they have.”

However, Pasquale Parente had the right to bring his claim and Commissioner McKinnon said there was no evidence his performance was unsatisfactory and his dismissal was unjust and unfair.

Reinstatement was not recommended as a remedy because Mr Parente had found another job and there was “a genuine loss of trust and confidence between the parties which is likely to be a difficult hurdle to overcome given the deeply personal relationships involved”.

“I am satisfied that an order for compensation is appropriate in the circumstances,” the commissioner said.


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