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The list is endless of the issues in the workplace, make the call today!

Justice and fairness applies equally to every body

If you think that "justice" has anything to do with right or wrong or fairness you are sadly mistaken,

Justice is concerned only with enforcing the law and has little to do with the average person's concept of fairness.

Most employers treat their workforce fairly, however some Employers don't care about you, or your family.

Their business is about making money, they have no respect for the industrial relations and discrimination laws and nothing else matters other than them.

Don't be convinced you have no rights, or you cannot win, you can!, don't be mistreated or unfairly sacked and let the employer get away with it.

Call today!!

Will it work? it depends on how efficient the new Fair Work Australia body is. It runs the risk like any other large government department of getting lost within itself.

The issue of cost is another, how much will it cost for a employee to take a unfair dismissal or industrial relations matter through the system, how much will the employer have to spend on defending the claims.

The notion that the new industrial relations system will be fairer, or what is really proposed is a simplified present Australian Industrial Relations Commission is going to be fairer to both the employer and the employee remains to be seen.

Fair Work Australia

( FWA )

As of the 1st July 2009, we have an all embracing goverment department (FWA) that will manage all: Industrial relations matters (IR) unlawful dismissal claims, including some discrimination matters, redundancies, award matters, disputes, re established the national wage case.

The Government has introduced new industrial relations legislation titled the Fair Work Act, (FWA) which will replace the Work Choices legislation. It seems the Government has brought into place a more balanced system to create a safety net for workers in these troubled economic times. The major immediate change is to the unfair and unlawful dismissal laws.

The Fair Work Bill has been passed and most of the major changes will be implemented on 1 July 2009, with the remainder fully operational January 2010. So how does The Fair Work Bill differ from Work Choices? In particular, how does it affect employees.

New characterization of small business
Under the new Fair Work Act, this has changed to fewer than 15 employees, (used to be 100) and that includes part-time and long-term regular casual staff and employees who are employed by related companies (associated entities). Under the new Fair Work Act, the Government defines a small business solely on the number of employees, regardless of the revenue the company earns.

Unfair dismissal

The new Fair Work Act proposes some major changes to unfair dismissal laws, always an interesting and contentious topic. Under the Work Choices legislation, small businesses were exempt from unfair dismissal claims, but employees can now make a claim under the new laws, in most circumstances, providing they have minimum service as set out below.

Employees who have worked for a small company (with fewer than 15 employees) for more than 12 months can make an unfair dismissal claim. The same goes for people who have worked for a larger company for more than six months. However, workers who earn more than $108,300 a year or not cover by an award won’t be able to make unfair dismissal claims unless they are covered by an industrial award or enterprise agreement.

The big issue we see is the sacked employees ability to lodge a unfair dismissal claim within the 14 days, (unlawful dismissal 60 days) The Government has published a Small Business Fair Dismissal Code of Practice. As long as small business owners comply with the code when they dismiss a staff member, the dismissal will be deemed to be fair.

Redundancy

If a position is redundant for a genuine reason, the employee can’t make a successful unfair dismissal claim. In many cases the redundancy is not genuine, examples are returns from sick leave, maternity leave or you tell your employer you need time off to take care of your partner after an operation and all of a sudden you're made redundant. Not sure of the genuineness, call us today! Please read the unfair dismissal page on this web site for more details.

Disputes

Under the new Fair Work australia Act it will be alot easier to lodge a dispute

Some examples of workplace disputes include disputes about:

  • employment conditions, such as meal breaks, overtime, parental leave and public holidays
  • rates of pay and redundancy entitlements
  • discrimination
  • consultative processes
  • right of entry.
  • any dispute resolution procedures in the relevant award or agreement
  • what's covered in the relevant laws and regulations.
Awards and parental leave

The new legislation is also set to shake up the Award system of workplace entitlements. "There will continue to be awards, which will be called Modern Awards. At the moment there are thousands of awards and we anticipate the number will be greatly reduced. One change that is likely to have a major impact on small business and will doubtless cause a stir is parental leave. Under current laws, one parent is entitled to take up to 12 months of unpaid leave, provided he or she has worked for the employer for at least a year. Under the Fair Work Bill, both parents will be entitled to take a total of 12 months unpaid leave between them.

This leave must be taken by the parents consecutively, except for the three weeks after the birth or adoption, when both parents may take leave. Alternatively, one parent can request to extend their leave by a further 12 months, taking a total of two years unpaid leave. The employer may only refuse the request of an eligible employee on reasonable business grounds. The employer must otherwise agree to the employee’s request. This obligation applies to all national system employers, including small businesses, and to same-sex couples."

Overall, it looks like we’re in for some fundamental changes, which will no doubt have a significant bearing on small businesses and improve employees rightsWe will see as they unravel in the year to come.

The Fair Work Act timeline

1 July 2009
Key elements implemented
Bargaining framework
Unfair dismissal and arbitration

January 2010
New employment standards come into operation
New institutional structures established: Fair Work Australia
Modern Awards reviewed every four years

Current five minimum employment standards will be extended to 10. New standards will cover:

  1. Maximum weekly hours of work
  2. Requests for flexible work arrangements
  3. Parental leave
  4. Annual leave
  5. Personal or carer’s leave and compassionate leave
  6. Community service leave
  7. Long service leave
  8. Public holidays
  9. Termination and redundancy pay
  10. The right to receive the Fair Work Information Statement (to be published by Fair Work Australia)
Minimum wages and casual leave loadings reviewed every year

The key to the system is have multi tiered process, whereby everybody gets a fair go, the trouble is the perception won't work. If the employer wins then the unions and workers say the system isn't fair. If the employee wins then employer groups and big business will be complaining and stating they will not employ people in future.

The Liberal government was on the right path with the industrial relations and workplace changes. The amount of awards and conditions was suffocating business, we had to move to more flexible workplaces. The trouble was was the Workchoices went too far, Australian's do not want to compete with India and China, and why should we. We don't want the same standard of living as they have..

If you are reading this web site as a individual you are entitled to be represented, under Fair Work Australia or the current industrial relations landscape, that's why unions exist, employer groups and organistations.

Proposed new rules under Fair Work Australia

To discuss the Fair Work Austrialia (FWA) concept call us today.

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ON THIS SITE CONSTITUTES LEGAL ADVICE. A WHOLE NEW APPROACH PTY LTD IS NOT A LAW FIRM AND WE ARE NOT SOLICITORS.      

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