The board of the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club are headed for court in a battle over termination pay.
The board of the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club are headed for court in a battle over termination pay.

Sacked staff sue footy club for termination pay

The board of the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club - home of the Roosters - is full of millionaires and business leaders but the club is accused of using the COVID-19 lockdown as an excuse for not paying staff who were made redundant.

It was the end of an era when the Roosters' beloved Woy Woy Leagues Club on the Central Coast shut its doors permanently in April after COVID-19 restrictions hit hard earlier this year.

Sydney Roosters NRL club chairman Nick Politis at his Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club office headquarters at Bondi Junction.
Sydney Roosters NRL club chairman Nick Politis at his Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club office headquarters at Bondi Junction.

The Easts Group had come to the club's rescue in 2012 when it entered into a joint venture as part of the Roosters' support for rugby league on the Central Coast but the club continued to struggle financially and did not reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Then, instead of paying the five Woy Woy staff termination pay of around $5000 each, the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club claimed the three men and two women were ­legally not entitled to the money because they had been stood down without pay at the time. It was before JobKeeper payments kicked in.

The case is listed to be heard under the Fair Work Act in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney tomorrow after negotiations broke down.

A notice on the door of Woy Woy Leagues Club.
A notice on the door of Woy Woy Leagues Club.

The staff, all of whom had worked for the club for over five years, are each still owed between $4702 and $5877, ­according to the statement of claim lodged with the court.

"Easts is a wealthy club, they are a top tier leagues club and they ought to be able to look after their workers when they put them out of work," a source said.

The Woy Woy club closed with almost 4000 members after plans to revamp it and ­develop it as part of an over-55 accommodation and office hub was knocked back by the State Government's Independent Planning Committee.

 

Documents lodged with the court by the United Workers Union claim the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club breached the Fair Work Act.

Easts counts among its ­directors Roosters' chairman Nick Politis, Wizard Home Loans founder Mark Bouris and Endemol Shine production company boss Mark Fennessy. Easts declined to comment on Tuesday, saying it was an ongoing legal matter.

 

Originally published as Sacked staff sue Roosters club for termination pay

Easts Group announced the permanent closure of Woy Woy Leagues Club in April.
Easts Group announced the permanent closure of Woy Woy Leagues Club in April.


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