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FIFO worker allegedly promoted then fired for moving house

FIFO charter plane
FIFO charter plane

A remote employee claims he was elevated to a managerial role and unfairly dismissed for relocating.

Karl Boobyer wants almost $600,000 in compensation after Santos allegedly promoted him to construction supervisor and later terminated his employment for moving to New Zealand.

The former fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker claims the employer initially had no requirement for him to live in Queensland, because he previously worked as an environmental advisor with no restriction on where he resides.

Santos development execution manager James Hitchins allegedly confirmed his colleague could technically keep living in New Zealand and move to a FIFO role within the onshore development division. This was based on a roster of 15 days on, 13 days off plus leave entitlements. His annual salary was $162,965 plus a $13,500 field allowance.

However, the deal turned sour when the employer demanded that Boobyer lives in the Sunshine State due to company policy about supporting the local community. He refused and the company eventually terminated his employment for breaching the so-called “residence clause”.

Boobyer estimates he would have earned $488,895 in wages and superannuation contributions during the three years to February 2025. He also could have been entitled to extra field allowance, bonus payments and company shares worth $3000 according to News Limited.

Santos did not immediately respond to the media outlet’s request for comment.

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