Sacked workers get nothing for 8 weeks if boss claims  		‘misconduct’

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Sacked workers get nothing for 8 weeks if boss claims ‘misconduct’

Workers unfairly sacked for what the boss claims is ‘misconduct’ will now not receive any Government assistance for eight weeks, the Federal Opposition has claimed.

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Workers unfairly sacked for what the boss claims is ‘misconduct’ will now not receive any Government assistance for eight weeks, the Federal Opposition has claimed.

Senator Penny Wong, the Shadow Minister for Employment, said that from this week the workers most at risk are ‘those who have no access to unfair dismissal protection under the Howard Government’s extreme new industrial relations laws’.

‘The Howard Government is saying to these working Australians, “if you get sacked from today, you’re on your own”,’ she said.

‘Sacked workers will be left like a shag on a rock. They will have to rely on the kindness of relatives, friends and strangers. Australian families cannot survive without income for up to eight weeks.’

IR collides with welfare

Senator Wong said this situation ‘is where the new industrial relations laws collide with the new welfare laws, leaving working Australians with no real protection from exploitation’.

‘And leaving a sacked worker penniless for eight weeks is not going to help them along the path to a new job,’ she said.

In a statement Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews denied what Senator Wong said was true.

‘Senator Wong has falsely claimed that workers unfairly dismissed face eight weeks without income support with the deliberate intent to mislead,’ Andrews said.

Qualification

(Senator Wong initially claimed this, but subsequently added the qualification that the employer must claim the sacking was for ‘misconduct’.)

‘The truth is that workers on income support dismissed through no fault of their own will not be penalised by the new Welfare to Work changes,’ he said.

‘If workers are dismissed from paid employment without being on income support, the same eligibility rules will apply as they did before the Welfare to Work reforms.

‘For workers on income support who do not deliberately engineer their dismissal, their income support continues.

‘However those people on income support with participation requirements who refuse the offer of suitable employment or voluntarily leave or are dismissed from suitable employment for misconduct, the eight week non-payment period will apply.’

New rules

Andrews said there were safeguards in the social security system such as the appeals process and case management available for vulnerable clients.

The new rules can be found here.

Related

WorkChoices updates - what you need to know - termination of employment

 

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