Federal redundancy test case starts today

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Federal redundancy test case starts today

Australia's largest body of industrially regulated employees - those working under the federal workplace relations system - will be the subject of close examination in the Redundancy Test Case that commences in Melbourne today, 26 May. The case has some time to run before any outcome will be known.

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Australia's largest body of industrially regulated employees - those working under the federal workplace relations system - will be the subject of close examination in the Redundancy Test Case that commences in Melbourne today, 26 May. The case has some time to run before any outcome will be known.
 
In issue are the minimum benefits that federal employees will receive on redundancy. Currently the top amount is around two months compared to up to five months under NSW law.
 
Employers are arrayed against any major changes to current benefits. Employers are also seeking to indirectly limit the back-door State avenues that have been used by some employees to increase redundancy benefits. For example, the NSW individual contracts stream and various State unfair dismissal regimes would be locked out as a way for federal-award covered workers to obtain extra severance pay if the Australian Industry Group has its way.
 
Redundancy and termination benefits continue to be at the top of the priority list for unions. The Federal Government's employee entitlements support scheme continues to receive criticism as being too confined - failing to cover the real losses suffered by employees in some bankrupt companies.
 
The Federal Government's attempt to fund all the statutory entitlements of the Ansett workers plus a proportion of redundancy benefits still awaits final resolution.
 
There are continuing calls for a Government scheme to be set up whereby employers contribute entitlements into the fund. This and other approaches are likely to be canvassed in the test case.
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