'It was an incredibly stupid post': Man who was sacked after 'sarcastically' supporting ISIS on Facebook is awarded $4,800 in compensation 

  • Nirmal Singh was sacked from his job at Perth Airport in October last year
  • His job was terminated after he made posts supporting ISIS on Facebook
  • Mr Singh claimed the posts were sarcastic and took the case to Fair Work
  • He was successfully awarded $4,800 by Fair Work on Thursday

A man who was sacked from his job as a baggage handler after making a series of Facebook posts in support of Islamic State has won an 'unfair dismissal' case.

Nirmal Singh from Perth, Western Australia, used a fake profile on social media to make a number of controversial posts including one saying 'We All Support ISIS'.

The casual employee at Aerocare, a contractor for Virgin Australia at Perth Airport, was subsequently sacked when the posts were noticed and reported by one of Mr Singh's colleagues.

Nirmal Singh (pictured) won an unfair dismissal case at the Fair Work Commission on Thursday after he was sacked for making a number of pro-ISIS comments on Facebook

Nirmal Singh (pictured) won an unfair dismissal case at the Fair Work Commission on Thursday after he was sacked for making a number of pro-ISIS comments on Facebook

However Mr Singh claimed the posts - which were made under the pseudonym Sherry Solus Singh - were 'sarcastic', launching a claim with Fair Work Australia.

On Thursday his claim was approved and he was successfully compensated for $4,800.

Fair Work Commissioner Jennifer Hunt said the amount covered eight weeks worth of pay, minus 40 per cent for misconduct. 

In handing down her decision, Commissioner Hunt said there was no evidence Aerocare had considered any alternative options to sacking Mr Singh.

'A more thorough investigation, including obtaining a written account from Mr Singh would have satisfied Aerocare that Mr Singh did not support ISIS,' she said. 

'A reasonable conclusion would then be that the ISIS post was an incredibly stupid post to have been made.'  

Aerocare claimed the decision to terminate their employee's contract was made out of fear for their reputation and what would happen if the post was made public.

'It could result in panic, furore and concern about public safety and the reputation of Aerocare and that of its client, Virgin Australia,' an admission to the Fair Work Commission read.

Mr Singh worked as a baggage handler for Aerocare at Perth Airport (pictured) but had his contract terminated in October 2015 after a colleague saw the posts and alerted management

Mr Singh worked as a baggage handler for Aerocare at Perth Airport (pictured) but had his contract terminated in October 2015 after a colleague saw the posts and alerted management

Aerocare alerted the Australian Federal Police to the Facebook posts by Mr Singh, with the Joint Counter Terrorism Unit also investigating the incident.

In their admission to the Commission, Aerocare's general manager for employee relations Greg Shelley stressed the importance of security in airports.

'We have a huge amount of compliance with respect to safety with regards to baggage, security, gaining access to the aircraft, and so forth,' Mr Shelley said. 

The comments were written underneath a post from Australia's hardline Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir about police worker Curtis Cheng, however Mr Singh claimed they were 'sarcastic' and was compensated $4,800 for his dismissal on Thursday

The comments were written underneath a post from Australia's hardline Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir about police worker Curtis Cheng, however Mr Singh claimed they were 'sarcastic' and was compensated $4,800 for his dismissal on Thursday

'We take that aspect very, very seriously... we can't accept, 'I was just joking', after the event as an explanation. 

'If we were to be investigating an incident after the event that would not be acceptable, for us to say, 'Yes, we had concerns but he assured us it was just a joke'.'

Mr Singh had written the comment underneath a post from Australia's hardline Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir about police worker Curtis Cheng, who was shot dead by Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad last year. 

 

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