The Federal Circuit Court recently handed down an important decision that reminds both the not for profit sector, including religious organisations, of the need to pay close attention when engaging individuals as an employee or volunteer to work in their organisations.
In the decision of Hindu Society of Victoria v Fair Work Ombudsman  FCCA 423, the Court confirmed on the facts before it that, even though an individual was alleged to be a religious priest, he was in fact a cook and therefore an employee.
The Hindu Society argued that the individual was a religious priest because:
The Court rejected the above based on the following:
There are a number of key lessons from this case: