Jane Seymour

Murphy v Westpac Banking Corporation [2014] FCA 1104

CONTRACTS – contracts of employment – misleading or deceptive conduct – ss 52 and 53B of Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – retention incentive scheme – whether employer disclosed true nature of scheme to employees – whether alleged non-disclosure of scheme amounted to deceit or negligence on part of employer – whether employee enjoyed contractual rights to bonus or incentive – relevance of discretion to award bonus or incentive – whether implied term that such discretion cannot be exercised capriciously, arbitrarily or unreasonably – whether withholding of incentives from employees a discretion so exercised – whether implied term of mutual trust and confidence – application of Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Barker[2014] HCA 32; (2014) 88 ALJR 84 – whether scheme induced employees not to seek alternative employment – whether incentives available to employees upon retrenchment

CONTRACTS – contracts of employment – seconded employees – application and interpretation of secondment policy – whether seconded employees in temporary or permanent position

CONTRACTS – contracts of employment – termination – whether reasonable notice given – meaning of “reasonable notice” – whether change in employee duties over time effects contractual variation of notice provisions – application of Quinn v Jack Chia (1991) 1 VR 567

CONTRACTS – contracts of employment – wrongful dismissal claims – whether employer redundancy policy forms part of terms and conditions of contract of employment – construction and interpretation of redundancy policy – whether application of policy varies over time – whether employee secondment affects application of redundancy policy – whether payment in lieu of notice acceptable

DAMAGES – measure of damages – breach of contract of employment – damages in respect of contractual bonuses – quantification of the value of a lost opportunity

TORTS – negligence – whether representatives of employer owed duty of care to employees – whether employer acted with reasonable care – quantification of loss on the part of employee