Former Qantas employees, unlawfully terminated, pursue millions in compensation as their case returns to court.

Unions representing hundreds of former Qantas employees are pursuing millions of dollars in compensation for their unlawful dismissal during the COVID-19 pandemic. The compensation hearing has commenced in the Federal Court in Sydney, marking what unions describe as the largest case of its kind in Australia’s corporate history. This matter has returned to the Federal Court following the High Court’s unanimous rejection last September of the airline’s attempt to overturn previous rulings, which found that some staff were illegally terminated. Qantas announced the dismissals in August 2020, subsequently outsourcing the affected positions. Throughout legal proceedings, the airline contended that the layoffs were driven by sound commercial reasons, citing a sharp decline in business during COVID-19 lockdowns.

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