A recruitment consultant entered into an employment contract which contained an entitlement to receive commissions. The contract also required him to comply with the company’s policies and guidelines. Months after the contract was signed, the company created a Policy and Procedures Manual, which stated employees would not receive commissions in their “final pay” if their invoices had not been settled prior to their departure. The employee ceased employment and the company relied on its policy to withhold over $50,000 in commissions from his final pay.
The Court held the policy on commissions did not fall within the employee’s contractual obligation to “comply” with the company’s policies. This is because the policy on commissions did not require the employee to “comply” with anything. Rather, introduction of the policy was an attempt to unilaterally vary the employment contract, which the employer was not entitled to do.
Akmeemana v Murray  NSWSC 979
AuthorAnnamarie Rooding, Senior Associate
Who does this affect? All Australian employers
What do you need to do? Review your practices in light of these recent developments