Changes to Employment Law, What this means for Employers

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:15pm Thursday 02 July 2009

As of the 1st of July 2009 a number of changes have come into effect relating to employment under the new Fair Work Regulations. The following blog post has been provided by LawLive.

One of the main changes for Small Businesses, is the change to the unfair dismissal laws. Previously Employers with fewer than 100 Employees were exempt from unfair dismissal laws, that has now changed and all Employers are now required to comply with unfair dismissal laws.

Within the unfair dismissal system, special arrangements apply for businesses with less than 15 "full-time equivalent" employees. Compared with larger businesses, smaller business receive;
This Fair Dismissal Code for Small Businesses requires the employer to give the employee a valid reason based of the employee's conduct or capacity to do the job, why the employee is at risk of being dismissed and a reasonable chance to rectify the problem.

By law, multiple notices are not required.

An important change to unfair dismissal is in the wording of the requirements for businesses that have had an unfair dismissal case bought against them, the fair dismissal code previously advised that an employer 'may be required to produce evidence of compliance', the code has been amended to now read than employer 'will be required to provide evidence'. Although a seemingly small change, it can have great ramifications.

To help avoid issues in dealing with unfair dismissal, it is important that all warnings be properly documented, and copies of any warnings given to employees are stored in their employee file. LawLive has a range of Warning Notices and Termination Notices available for these situations.

A fact sheet released by the Australian Government, includes further information on the changes to "Fair Dismissal" as well as a checklist to ensure that businesses comply with fair dismissal regulations.

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