'Sack high and hire low' WorkChoices law may change

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'Sack high and hire low' WorkChoices law may change

The Federal Government will consider making further changes to the WorkChoices legislation to prevent employers from sacking a worker for 'operational reasons' and then re-advertising the job at a lower salary.

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The Federal Government will consider making further changes to the WorkChoices legislation to prevent employers from sacking a worker for 'operational reasons' and then re-advertising the job at a lower salary.

Referring to the recent Priceline case, Family First Senator, Steve Fielding, yesterday asked in the Senate whether the Government would 'act to tighten WorkChoices to prevent other employers engaging in sham redundancies and sacking Australian workers to save money'.

Senator Eric Abetz, who represents the Minister for Workplace Relations in the Senate, said the Government was prepared to 'look at it and consider what the outcomes may be in relation to our legislation'.

Legislation 'not perfect'

'We have never said that our legislation is perfect,' he said. 'We have always said that we are willing to fine tune it and consider any changes that might need to be made.'

Fielding then asked what message Abetz had 'for the sacked Melbourne dad of two, Andrew Cruickshank, who was his family's sole breadwinner and was out of work for five months after his employer, Priceline, dismissed him and readvertised his job with a much lower salary.

'How is Mr Cruickshank better off under WorkChoices?' Fielding said.

Not a sham

Abetz said that in the Cruickshank situation the AIRC 'disagreed and held that there was no evidence that the operational reason was a sham.

'The significant financial loss of $17.2m [by Priceline] and the subsequent restructure resulted in the dismissal of 32 employees,' Abetz said. 'So the particular example to which the honourable Senator refers unfortunately does not make his case.

'Nevertheless, I am not willing to dismiss out of hand the honourable senator's concerns, and, as with all things, we as a government will continue to monitor very closely to see if any finetuning is needed. But Mr Cruickshank does not make the honourable Senator's case.'

Related

AIRC ruling means bosses can 'sack high and hire low'

Financial reasons good enough to justify dismissal

  

 

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