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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2154


Senator CHAPMAN (10.36 p.m.) —At this stage I simply want to make the point that I hope the business community and employers will note that both the government and the Democrats have failed in their treatment of this legislation to do anything to make it easier to employ people. The government and the Democrats have retained discrimination in the legislation against non-award employees and have failed in this legislation to place any reasonable cap on pay-outs in the case of compensation awards in relation to unfair dismissal. This will leave business in general, and small business in particular, in an unenviable position. Also, the legislation as it stands does nothing to change the onus of proof in regard to a case of unfair dismissal. Had our amendments been supported, again there was the opportunity to change the onus of proof to reduce the burden on business in seeking to employ people, particularly the burden on small business.

  This legislation is not as good as it otherwise might be by reason of the fact that the government, the Democrats, the Greens and Independents have failed to support our amendments and business will suffer the consequences. The sad thing is that, ultimately, it is potential employees who will not be provided with the jobs that could otherwise be created by business and who will suffer as a result of this legislation as it now stands.

  Bill agreed to.

  Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.