Qantas’ decision to outsource workers during the pandemic was illegal, court finds

Qantas has been found to have illegally sacked more than 1600 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The High Court judgment handed down on Wednesday upheld two rulings made by the Federal Court, which found the outsourcing of baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff was unlawful.
Qantas was found in the Federal Court to have breached the Fair Work Act in outsourcing its ground operations to avoid enterprise bargaining rights, after the Transport Workers’ Union took legal action against the carrier.
The airline, which retrenched workers in 2020, lost billions of dollars due to the pandemic, which decimated the aviation sector.
Justin Gleeson SC for Qantas, told the High Court in May the airline’s revenue stream had been shattered by the pandemic which left it “bleeding cash”.
The airline has since posted an underlying profit of almost $2.5 billion in the past financial year.
Qantas argued it could not have breached the workplace rights of the employees, as they did not have the right to take protected industrial action at the time of the decision to outsource.

This is a developing story and this article will be updated.

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