Bill's Media Releases

Expedited access to entitlements for First Fleet and CMI workers

Workers who have lost their jobs at transport company First Fleet and car parts maker CMI Industrial will have expedited access to assistance for unpaid entitlements following the collapse of the companies.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today exercised discretion to expedite access to the Government’s General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) for staff made redundant at both companies.

“This means that workers can access their unpaid entitlements sooner and not have to wait until the companies go into liquidation later this month,” Mr Shorten said.

"The collapse of these companies represents exceptional circumstances. I am satisfied that my decision today is consistent with the intention of the scheme and is not being used to facilitate business restructuring.

“After receiving clear advice from administrators today that CMI and First Fleet will go into liquidation, we can now move to ensure workers can access GEERS assistance faster.

“My Department is in contact with the insolvency practitioners to arrange expedited access to GEERS claims and payments.”

At least 450 people have lost their jobs in New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland through the collapse of First Fleet, and almost 50 workers have been made redundant at CMI Industrial in Victoria.

GEERS helps workers recover entitlements including:

  • up to 3 months unpaid wages

  • unpaid Long Service Leave

  • unpaid Annual Leave

  • up to 5 weeks Pay in Lieu of Notice, and

  • redundancy pay (capped at 4 weeks for each year of service).

While early access to GEERS is processed, workers will continue to access a range of Government support through Job Services Australia, which in practical terms help with job applications and interviews, and other career advice.

Where workers are located in Priority Employment Areas, the Local Employment Coordinators in each area are working closely with local stakeholders to help support these redundant workers.