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Abbott must reveal budget impact of unfair dismissal plan.



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STATEMENT

13 November 2002

Abbott must reveal Budget impact of unfair dismissal plan Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott must reveal the impact on the Budget of his plan to override State unfair dismissal laws.

The Financial Impact Statement tabled by Mr Abbott with his Termination of Employment Bill, which would override State unfair dismissal laws, simply states the obvious:

“The measures in this Bill aimed at expanding the Federal unfair dismissal scheme will involve additional matters coming before the [Federal] Commission. Appointment of additional members of the Commission may be necessary.”

Even this vague statement fails to mention the cost of additional registrars, registry officers, conciliators, hearing rooms, office space and court reporters.

In 2001-02, there were 8547 applications under State law, and 7461 applications under Federal law.

Mr Abbott himself says that 85% of workers would be covered by Federal law if his Bill were passed.

The reality is that Mr Abbott’s plan would require the Federal Commission to deal with thousands of extra cases - potentially doubling its current workload.

Mr Abbott’s obvious and vague Financial Impact Statement is inadequate.

He must reveal the impact on the Budget of his plan to override State unfair dismissal laws.

For further information: Jonathan Kirkwood 0425 231 690

Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow M inister for W orkplace Relations

Robert McClelland MP