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Employsure Supports Call to End “Cheap and Easy” Dismissal Claims

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September 26 2019

By Leigh Johnston

Workers who have been sacked could be hit with higher costs while chasing unfair dismissal claims in an attempt to prevent the Fair Work Commission’s time being wasted.

The current filing fee for an unfair dismissal claim is $73.20, which the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said is “too cheap and easy” for workers to make accusations.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said he will consider a review in the federal government’s workplace system after the Fair Work Commission raised concern about resources being misused by workers.

“Failure to properly pursue a matter once commenced and without formally withdrawing the claim means wasted resources, funded by the taxpayer,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

“Plus, an unfair burden on the small business employer that has to spend precious time and money to defend a non-pursued claim to its conclusion.”

Along with Mr Porter’s comment, Employsure supports the calls that make it harder for sacked employees to lodge vexatious unfair dismissal claims, and welcomes the comments from the Attorney-General who has flagged a potential crackdown.

According to The Australian, the director of workplace relations at ACCI, Scott Barklamb, has also said the unfair dismissal claim of $73.20, should better reflect the serious implications for those who are concerned, as well as the cost it may have on the community.

“Extremely low requirements to commence litigation, a lack of accountability for applicants, and numerous in-built incentives to pay go-away money are attracting the ambulance-chasing fringes of the legal profession and some truly woeful unfair dismissal consultants.

“There should be consequences for lodging claims without merit, or failing to properly pursue them.

“In the courts, if you don’t front to prosecute your matter, fail to comply with directions, or put your paperwork in late, you said a very good chance of your case being thrown out – this should apply to unfair dismissal claims,” Mr Barklamb said.

Employsure’s Managing director Ed Mallett outlined flaws in the unfair dismissal system as it currently stands, and the burden it can have on small business owners in a recent submission to the Small Business Association of Australia.

“The Federal Government’s announcement that it would review workplace relations is a welcome step towards creating a fairer and more efficient system for small business owners,” Mr Mallett said.