Redundancy payments Bill and small claims guide

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Redundancy payments Bill and small claims guide

Bankruptcy redundancy pay Bill to go to committee | Guide to help employers and employees take small claims action

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Bankruptcy redundancy pay Bill to go to committee | Guide to help employers and employees take small claims action

Bankruptcy redundancy pay Bill to go to committee


The Bill to cap redundancy pay entitlements paid out under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme will now go before the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee.

Contingent upon its introduction in the House of Representatives, the Bill has been referred to the committee to receive submissions from employer and employee representatives, departmental officials and other stakeholders. The expected reporting date is 24 September.

Guide to help employers and employees take small claims action


A new guide from the Fair Work Ombudsman assists both employers and employees in circumstances where an employee takes a small claims action to court to recover entitlements of up to $20,000.

The Small Claims Guide can be downloaded. There is also a series of short, educative videos that cover topics explained in the guide.

The guide and videos aim to assist workers seeking to recover entitlements, and employers who need to respond to claims filed against them.

“The guide will help to ensure workplace disputes are settled quickly and fairly in the small claims process with minimum expense to the parties involved,” Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said.

The Small Claims Guide covers the procedural rules that apply to matters such as who can make a claim, time limits on making claims, fees that apply, where and how to file a claim in court and serving the respondent.

The guide also includes tips on completing court forms, filing evidence, what to expect on the day of the hearing and tips for employers on answering a small claims application. 

When to refer?

When deciding whether to refer an employee to the small claims process, the Fair Work Ombudsman considers a range of factors.

These include the amount and types of entitlements involved, how serious the allegations are, the availability of evidence (including written records), the employee’s capability to follow the process and how long ago the employment ended.

Ms James says the small claims process is quicker, cheaper and more informal than regular court proceedings.

“Small claims matters are usually resolved with only one hearing and the simple process means there is generally no need for lawyers,” she said.

“Unlike formal litigation cases, small claims matters are run in an informal manner, as the Court is not bound by any rules of evidence or procedure in hearing them.”

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