Long service talks for redundancy hearing

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Long service talks for redundancy hearing

Federal workers covered by more generous state long service leave payouts would have their severance pay cut if major employer groups have their way.

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Federal workers covered by more generous state long service leave payouts would have their severance pay cut if major employer groups have their way.

The ACCI and the AiG appeared before a full bench of the Federal Industrial Relations Commission in Melbourne today as the bench met to finalise orders in relation to the recent federal redundancy test case (see previous story).

Last month the bench ruled that severance pay should be doubled to 16 weeks for nine years of service (dropping back to 12 weeks from 10 years, taking into account long service leave entitlements). It also said small businesses must pay up to a maximum of eight weeks’ severance pay.

But employers feel that in States and Territories where standards are higher than the federal standard this would mean ‘double dipping’, with some federal workers getting more money than others. They believe severance pay scales should be modified accordingly for those workers.

ACCI’s workplace policy director, Peter Anderson, told WorkplaceInfo today the employers were seeking change in three areas and would ask the bench to:

  •  Modify severance pay scales where federal employees were covered by more generous long service leave provisions than the federal standard – this would apply to employees in every state except Victoria and Western Australia;

  • Ensure the obligation on small business to pay severance is prospective, rather than retrospective;
  • Extend the date from which the orders would apply (currently due tomorrow), to three months from their finalisation, to give employers time to prepare.

The bench is continuing to hear submissions this afternoon. The AiG and ACTU were unavailable for comment.

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