Macquarie Bank wealth adviser sues over targets

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Macquarie Bank wealth adviser sues over targets

The redundancy deprived him of the bank’s income insurance which he had expected to access once his condition meant he could no longer work.

Mr Parsons said the decision came as “quite a shock” as he had been increasing his higher value clients and was just $2000 shy of his $200,000 revenue target, up $120,000 from the previous year despite health constraints.

He said he was forecast to increase his annual revenue to $320,000 at the time of his dismissal.

Mr Parsons suffered from lower back pain that later deteriorated to where he could no longer pick up and play with his 2-year-old son, his sleep was highly disrupted and he spent most of his personal time resting.

He said his back difficulties meant he could not work the 10-hour day expected of advisers and was limited to a maximum of eight hours a day.

He alleged he told the head wealth manager in Sydney, Chris Gray, he was “collapsing from trying to balance my health and medications with work targets” and he spent “90 per cent of my personal time lying on the floor at home”.

Mr Gray allegedly responded that the bank would be “very accommodating” over his reduced revenues.

But Mr Parsons alleges business manager Lawrence Narayan constantly pressured him to grow his business faster and increase his revenue.

He said the pressure meant he had to attend the office on weekends because he could not work the same length of time other advisers did on weekdays.

“The stress of this requirement, and the requirement itself, was a substantial reason for the quick deterioration of his health condition over the last 12 months,” his application said.

‘Seriously heavy-duty painkiller’

In one conversation, Mr Narayan allegedly asked him what medication he was taking for his back pain.

When Mr Parsons told him it was oxycodone Mr Narayan allegedly responded “Wow! That is a seriously heavy-duty painkiller” and questioned how he could do the job with the drug’s side-effects.

Mr Parsons said he was “shocked and concerned” at being asked such a “private question” about his medication and concerned that Mr Narayan had taken an adverse view of his ability to do the job.

By April, Mr Parsons’ hours were reduced to six a day. The next month his position was made redundant.

“I find it hard to believe that my medical condition of recent did not have an impact on the decision to choose me,” he told Mr Narayan at the time.

Mr Narayan denied the condition was a factor, saying it was based on the fact his business was mostly retail clients and “some other metrics”.

A Macquarie spokeswoman said the bank would contest the claims.

“Macquarie rejects these allegations and will defend the claim,” she said.

“Macquarie supports its staff through a number of flexible workplace options which Mr Parsons made use of.”

Harmers Workplace Lawyers is representing Mr Parsons in the matter, which is set for a directions hearing in April next year.

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