Fair Work Australia has ruled that Melkite Catholic priest Andrea
Bellia can claim unfair dismissal after his job at Melbourne's Assisi
Centre was terminated.
Fr Bellia lost the job at the aged-care centre at Rosanna in Melbourne, after the president of Assisi wrote that it was "deemed in the best interests of all concerned that the post of chaplain be vacated with immediate effect", reports The Age.
Fr Bellia was employed by Assisi after an arrangement between the aged-care home and the Melkite Catholic Eparchy, one of the Eastern-Rite arms of the Catholic Church. He was employed to provide pastoral care and perform some priestly duties including saying Mass for the 120 residents.
Fair Work Australia deputy president Reg Hamilton dismissed arguments from Assisi that Father Bellia's services were provided through the deal with the Melkite Catholic Eparchy and that there was no relationship of employer and employee between them.
Mr Hamilton said Father Bellia was paid a $30,000 a year stipend, was provided with accommodation for his family, and utilities, as well as a mobile phone, car and health insurance.
Priest can make claim for unfair dismissal (The Age)
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Fair Work Australia