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  • Writer's pictureBrian AJ Newman LLB

Abandonment of employment issues (Australia)

“Abandonment of employment” is an expression sometimes used to describe a situation where an employee ceases to attend his or her place of employment without proper excuse or explanation and thereby evinces an unwillingness or inability to substantially perform his or her obligations under the employment contract.

This may be termed a renunciation of the employment contract.

Brian AJ Newman LLB, Chief Executive Officer - Workers First (Workplace and Human Rights Advocates)

The test is whether the employee’s conduct is such as to convey to a reasonable person in the situation of the employer a renunciation of the employment contract as a whole or the employee’s fundamental obligations under it.

Renunciation is a species of repudiation (breach of contract) that entitles the employer to terminate the employment contract.

Although it is the action of the employer in that situation that terminates the employment contract, the employment relationship is ended by the employee’s renunciation of the employment obligations. The case reference for this is Koompahtoo Local Aboriginal Land Council v Sanpine Pty Ltd [2007] HCA 61, 233 CLR 115 at [44]-[47].

How do you argue this? What you will need to prove is that you do offer and have offered a reasonable excuse or explanation and thereby evince a willingness or ability to substantially perform your obligations under the employment contract.

Need help?

Contact Advocacy International - on 1800 238 622 or

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