The Federal Court has fined an employer $25,000 and its director $5,000 for signing its employees to unlawful individual flexibility agreements and obtaining their consent by threatening dismissal.

The Court found that the agreements failed to identify and detail how Award terms were varied; did not include a commencement date and removed overtime and penalty entitlements.  The Court held that the employer took adverse action against employees by way of undue influence, coercion, duress and threats, to obtain their consent.  The Court also ordered the company and director to pay $7,000 to an employee who was denied shifts for refusing to sign.  Penalties were at the lower end of the range as the employer was a small business, first-time offender, cooperative and apologetic.

Fair Work Ombudsman v Australian Shooting Academy Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 1064.