Brisbane IT distributor Compuworld has been allowed to temporarily delay the payment of damages to one of its sacked employees until after its appeal to the Fair Work Commission has been heard.
Compuworld in May 2020 was ordered by Fair Work to pay its former employee Anna Liu more than $52,000 in damages after the agency ruled the company unfairly dismissed Liu.
The company has been granted a conditional stay order, or that the decision won’t be acted on until its appeal is heard, provided that Compuworld would pay the award into an interest bearing bank account operated by Liu’s current lawyers.
Compuworld filed an appeal following the decision, arguing that the compensation was not just, that there was no discrimination involved with Liu’s firing; and that Liu was favoured for having legal representation at the time whereas Compuworld did not hire one due to “business struggles”.
“We are seeking the opportunity to appeal so we can have proper legal representation to state our case,” Compuworld’s appeal read.
The company alleges there were “significant timeline differences” between when Liu sought medical treatment to the date of event in question, and said the $15,000 compensation for non-economic loss was “unjust”.
Compuworld also argued that Liu wasn’t qualified for the government’s paid maternity leave scheme and shouldn’t have to pay her $13,330.80 as compensation.
The claim of discrimination was also appealed, saying that Liu herself admitted she “never witnessed prior any form of discrimination in her ten years of employment”, and that there was a significant decline in business activities, with two other full-time employees also made redundant around that time - neither of whom were not pregnant or had a disability.