Following the recent review of the Fair Work legislation,
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has announced that he
intends to introduce legislation that will include significant
changes to the unfair dismissal laws under the Fair Work Act
These changes should benefit employers by allowing Fair Work
Australia to award costs against unreasonable claims and, in some
circumstances, to dismiss claims or demand more information.
The proposed changes include:
allowing Fair Work Australia to make cost orders against a
party who has either:
unreasonably failed to discontinue a proceeding
unreasonably failed to agree to terms of settlement that could
have led to discontinuing the application
caused the other party to incur costs through an unreasonable
act or omission
giving Fair Work Australia power to dismiss an unfair dismissal
application without the need for the applicant to formally
discontinue the proceeding and without a hearing where:
settlement has occurred
an applicant fails to attend a proceeding
an applicant fails to comply with the directions or orders of
Fair Work Australia
requiring applicants to provide more information about the
circumstances of the dismissal in the initial unfair dismissal
application, which will allow Fair Work Australia and the
respondents to have a better understanding of the claim
extending the time limit for lodging unfair dismissal
applications from 14 to 21 days
allowing Fair Work Australia to make an order for costs against
a lawyer or paid agent whether or not Fair Work Australia has
granted permission for the lawyer or agent to represent a party in
an unfair dismissal application.
The Minister has also promised to reduce the time limit for
lodging adverse action claims relating to termination of employment
from 60 to 21 days.
Winner - EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009, 2010
Winner - Australasian Law Awards Gold Employer of Choice 2011
Finalist - ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010 and 2011 (Best
Winner - BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best Australian
Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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