Minister Shorten to introduce changes to Fair Work Act

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Federal Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, has announced he will introduce into Parliament new legislation amendments to the Fair Work Act that will affect SME business owners.

These will include introducing a uniform 21-day time limit for lodging either an unfair dismissal claim or a general protections claim resulting from dismissal, while also giving Fair Work Australia the option to be able to dismiss some unfair dismissal claims from the outset.Bill_ShortenLG

This decision comes as a result of the recent Fair Work Act review and will help to prevent claims that don’t meet the jurisdictional requirements under the Act being made against business owners. Additionally, the costs of claims without merit or without a strong case may be ordered against the complainant.

“Whilst we accept that the system is working very well, we accept the proposition that we need to provide absolute certainty for small and medium-sized enterprises so that claims which are without merit, if they continue to be pursued, can either be dismissed or alternatively the person making the claim… should carry the risk of paying the costs,” Shorten said.

53 recommendations were put forward for review and 17 have now been responded to, with more review recommendations expected to be adopted in 2013.

Before you terminate an employee, it’s recommended that you seek legal advice. For more on your options, click here.

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