King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 3

Employer’s refusal of request to work part time constituted constructive dismissal

By Stephanie McGuigan

The Fair Work Commission has found that an employer’s unreasonable refusal of an employee’s request to work part time after a period of parental leave constituted constructive dismissal.

The enterprise agreement that applied to the employee provided a right to request to return from parental leave on a part-time basis. The employer could only refuse the request on reasonable business grounds. After the birth of her second child, the employee formally requested a gradual return to work, commencing on two days a week and increasing to three days a week in three months’ time…

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