Jetstar Statement on Fair Work Ombudsman Claims
Jetstar will defend claims it was required to apply Australian workplace law while cadets employed through its New Zealand business trained with experienced pilots in Australia.
The claims were lodged today by the Fair Work Ombudsman in the Federal Court of Australia. This follows several months of discussion between Jetstar and the Ombudsman to clarify the matter.
These claims relate to cadet pilots employed in late 2010 by a Jetstar New Zealand subsidiary for work on its New Zealand domestic network. However, subsequent to the cadets being engaged in New Zealand under New Zealand terms and conditions, CASA required that the cadets be rostered from an Australian east coast base for at least one year to ensure an appropriate level of supervision with access to some of the most experienced Jetstar pilots.
Cadets were subsequently moved to Australian contracts designed to conform with the Australian modern award in early 2011. After discussions with cadets and unions, the cadets were then placed on Jetstar’s Australian EBA in September 2011. Cadets are currently finalising their 12 months of close supervision and will then be eligible for permanent roles across the Jetstar group of companies in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and ultimately Hong Kong.
The claims lodged today by the Fair Work Ombudsman relate to lower employer superannuation contributions in New Zealand compared with Australia. As a goodwill gesture, Jetstar has already paid cadets any shortfall between New Zealand and Australian superannuation contributions.
The Ombudsman also claims Jetstar should have reimbursed training costs for the period of time before cadets were placed on Jetstar’s Australian EBA. These costs were repaid to the cadets when they were brought on to the Australian EBA as a further goodwill gesture.
Jetstar takes its responsibilities as an employer very seriously and adheres to the different workplace regulations in each of the jurisdictions it operates in.
About Jetstar Group
Jetstar first took to the skies in 2004 and has since flown more than 350 million customers across an extensive international and domestic network. The Jetstar Group is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. A leading low-fares airline, Jetstar is committed to offering everyday low fares to enable more people to fly to more places, more often. As one of Asia Pacific’s fastest-growing airline brands, Jetstar was voted Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia Pacific in 2021 and was recognized for its excellent flight safety records and services when listed on the "2022 World's Top 10 LCC" released by Airline Ratings.