11 Feb Recent changes to the Fair Work Act
As part of the review of the Fair Work Act here are some of the first stage changes that commenced on 1 January 2013:
1. Fair Work Australia is now called the Fair Work Commission;
2. the time limit for lodging an unfair dismissal application has increased from 14 days to 21 days;
3. the time limit for lodging a general protections claim has reduced from 60 days to 21 days;
4. the Commission will have stronger discretionary powers to dismiss an action if an applicant is non compliant with any directions by the Commission (including non-attendance);
5. costs orders will be ordered if an employer can prove that unreasonable actions or omissions by an employee caused the employer to incur costs.
Around 14,000 unfair dismissal cases are being commenced against employers every year under the Fair Work Act. There has been a marked increase in claims since this implementation of this legislation.
TTIA continues to provide a quality in-house service and access to our Association solicitor to represent Members and defend these matters, many of which are vexatious claims. It is pleasing that most claims are settled, many involving no payment. Members are reminded to contact the TTIA National hotline on (02) 9264 0011 and seek appropriate advice before making a decision on an employee disciplinary issue.