Kiwis may benefit from Australian employment ruling

1:14 pm on 6 February 2016

New Zealanders laid off amid the big decline in Western Australia's resources industries could be in for a payout following a landmark legal ruling.

Oil rig

Photo: 123rf

Australia's Fair Work Commission has ordered electrical contractor Kentz Australia to pay more than $1 million to 150 gas project workers.

It included their unpaid rostered week as part of their lieu of notice, which resulted in them being underpaid.

Electrical Trades Union (ETU) launched a case against the company with the commission, and won.

"This victory will not only see these 150 electricians receive additional payment, but it now opens the door for thousands of other FIFO workers who have been denied notice pay in breach of minimum conditions on these resource projects in WA (Western Australia)," ETU spokesperson Les McLaughlan said.

Three unions plan to use the ruling to seek money from other oil, gas and mining companies.

"Workers were given notice when they were down at home in their [rest and recreation] and were not paid that notice.

"All of those workers who were treated in that fashion will be entitled to their full payment of notice," Mr McLaughlan said.

"This will affect thousands of workers and it will affect many from New Zealand."