‘I hope they choke on the bloody money’ – training company forced to pay up

by Brett Henebery30 Mar 2017
A court has ordered a Perth training company to pay close to $70,000 to three former employees.

In 2015, three employees launched legal action against Stan Liaros – the chief executive of Apprentice and Traineeship Company, based in Bunbury, Perth – for sacking them one month before their contracts of employment as business development officers were due to end.

Liaros took the step after Group Training South West (GTSW) – which oversees the Apprentice and Traineeship Company – failed to secure Commonwealth funding for the provision of apprenticeship and trainee services.
The three men – Glenn Edward Trigg, Adrian Troy Bestwick, and Gregory Paul Tomlinson – subsequently sought redundancy payments, which they were awarded late last month after Magistrate, Giusseppe Cicchini, ruled in their favour.
In a statement, the employees’ legal representative, Graham McCorry, said Liaros’ decision to sack the three men was done in a “fit of pique” after the successful funding tenderer – and subsequent employer of the three claimants – declined to lease premises from Liaros because his former employees were not prepared to work there.
Liaros has since slammed the claim as “rubbish”, saying that while his company was unsuccessful in winning the contract for funding, he had worked tirelessly to find alternative employment for his staff.
“They were assured of [employment] at least till June 30, but if they wanted to stick around to the end of their contracted periods they could stick around,” Liaros told the Bunbury Mail.
Liaros added that rather than sacking the three men, he had secured them employment with another training provider.
“I extolled the virtues of [the three men to prospective employers]. On May 18 [2015] we had confirmed offers of employment for the three men,” he said.
However, his claim that he had been pivotal in securing employment for the claimants was dismissed in court.
Cicchini said in his judgment it was “nothing more than self-serving conjecture”.
Orders were made for the Apprentice and Traineeship Company to pay the men $69,042.98, and for the company and Liaros to pay civil penalties of $30,600.
Liaros, who said he had already made the court-ordered payments, said he felt betrayed.
“I'm bitter about it. I looked after the three of them … and these are the guys that said ‘up yours, Stan’,” he said.
“I'll get over it, but it hurt. I hope they choke on the bloody money.”
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