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The ugly employer strikes again

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Member for BennelongShadow Minister for Industrial Relations & Manager of Opposition Business in the HOUSE IR 067/93


If the press statement of Messrs Gardini and Co, solicitors for the two former housekeepers at-the Prime Minister's Lodge., is to be believed then either the termination of their employment was not in accordance with the termination requirements provided for in the Government's Industrial Relations Bill, or the evidence given yesterday to a Senate Estimates Committele regarding the circumstances of their dismissal was wrong.

According to that evidence, they were dismissed because inter alia the staff at the Lodge had been squabbling, spending money without permission and that generally the household was not running properly.

Solicitors for the former housekeepers have emphatically denied any wrongdoing, in particular they have refuted any knowledge of the allegation that credit cards were misused.

They both received Certificates of Service from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet which are not granted if a person has been dismissed for any offence or misconduct of a serious nature, or has been guilty of frequent acts of misconduct although of a light nature.

The glaring hypocrisy is that clause 170DC in the new Brereton Bill explicitly states that an employer must not terminate an employee's employment for reasons related to the employee's conduct or performance unless the employee in question has been given the chance to defend himself or herself against the

allegations made.

The only exception to this requirement under that clause is where it would not be reasonable for the employee to be given such an opportunity.

Therefore, unless we are to accept that the Prime Minister and his Department are in some kind of special category absolving them from any responsibility to treat their employees reasonably, Australia's best-known and most powerful employer has once again breached the employment standards his Government is about to force down the throats of hundreds of thousands of Australian employers.

cofvih^o Nw1 Al TH



This issue is all about double standards. Paul Keating won't observe the rules he wants the rest of Australia to observe.

Increasingly, he looks an ugly employer. He could do a cameo appearance in the next scare campaign run by the ALP about the Coalition's industrial relations policy.

SYDNEY 9 November 1993