OWS responds to Qld unfair treatment claims

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OWS responds to Qld unfair treatment claims

The Office of Workplace Services (OWS) has sought urgent information from the Queensland Government about claims of unjust treatment in the workplace.

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The Office of Workplace Services (OWS) has sought urgent information from the Queensland Government about claims of unjust treatment in the workplace.

Qld IR Minister Tom Barton said yesterday ‘injustice and misery’ was being forced on workers in his State.

‘Cases of unjust treatment of ordinary workers are coming in daily, confirming what we’ve feared all along - that vulnerable workers such as women and the young are bearing the brunt of these draconian laws,’ he said.

Barton said some of the recent cases reported through the Department of Industrial Relations include:

  • A female travel consultant with 14 months’ service in Burleigh Heads was dismissed after being told the business was being restructured. But her employer was allegedly heard saying that he could sack anyone he wants to under the new laws.
  • An employee with five years service in Cairns only went on a six-week holiday because her boss assured her position was safe. When she returned, she was told the employee she trained to fill in for her would continue in her role so she was no longer needed.
  • Workers reporting injuries or sickness have been pushed out the door. One is a Gold Coast spray painter who tried to take sick leave for a badly injured wrist. Another - a Gladstone woman on sick leave following surgery whose job was filled while she was getting a clearance to return to work

Jurisdiction

OWS Director Nicholas Wilson said his office is seeking the information to determine whether investigations should be launched into the matters by its inspectors.

He said within an hour of the release, the OWS contacted Barton’s office and offered to investigate these unfair dismissal claims if the cases fall under OWS jurisdiction.

‘We obviously need to know whether these claims fall under federal jurisdiction and our charter to investigate,’ Wilson said. ‘If so we will act promptly.’

He said the role of the OWS is to ensure the rights and obligations of both workers and employers are understood and enforced fairly under the federal Workplace Relations Act.

If the OWS finds that an employer has acted unfairly, the WorkChoices legislation has given it power to protect workers’ rights. If employers breach their obligations under the Workplace Relations Act, they face a penalty of up to $33,000.

More information

Employers and employees who would like more information on their rights and obligations should contact the WorkChoices Infoline on 1300 363 264.

Related

Qld Govt reveals more ‘unjust’ sackings under WorkChoices


 

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