Small business unfair dismissal regulation to be blocked

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Small business unfair dismissal regulation to be blocked

The federal Government has promised to enact legislation completely exempting small businesses from the federal unfair dismissal laws unless the Senate passes its small business exemption regulation.

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The federal Government has promised to enact legislation completely exempting small businesses from the federal unfair dismissal laws unless the Senate passes its small business exemption regulation.

The Government introduced its small business exemption regulation (the details of which were discussed in HR Link of 13 May (Issue No 062/97) and 14 April (Issue No 049/97)) into the Parliament on 13 May.

It is understood that the Senate has 15 days from that date within which to either pass the regulation or reject it.

Both the Labor Party and the Democrats have stated that they are ‘totally opposed’ to the regulation.

The Government has responded by threatening to act in the manner described above. Clearly, the Government is intent on forcing the Senate to pass the regulation, however, the threatened legislation may also serve as a trigger for a double dissolution.

A spokesman for the federal Democrat’s Leader, Cheryl Kernot, has told the Chamber that the Government’s legislation threat has not altered the Democrat’s attitude on this matter one iota.

Similarly, a spokesman for the Shadow Industrial Relations Minister, Bob McMullan, has stated that the Labor Party will, as a matter of principle regardless of the political cost, oppose any such legislation.

And as far as the possibility that the legislation may act as a double dissolution trigger, the Shadow Minister’s spokesman stated that if that is what the Government wants then that is what they will get.

An important point to be made on all this is that the experience of the last thirty years tell us that t issue that is used for a double dissolution is rarely the issue on which the subsequent election is fought.

 
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