A new, fair dismissal system has been introduced as part of the new workplace relations system. New dismissal laws took effect on 1 July 2009.
Within the overall unfair dismissal system, special arrangements apply for small businesses with fewer than 15 full-time equivalent employees until 1 January 2011.
Compared with larger businesses, small business owners benefit from:
A doubling of the minimum employment period from six to 12 months, during which time employees cannot take a claim for unfair dismissal, and
A short and simple Fair Dismissal Code which, if followed by the small business owner, will ensure a dismissal is not unfair.
In addition, there is a specialist information and assistance unit established within the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman to give small and medium sized employers assistance and advice if they are considering dismissal.
For further information, go to www.fairwork.gov.au or contact Wayne Lee at the ATA Office on (03) 9372 1688.