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Even better arrangements to protect employee entitlements.
THE HON TONY ABBOTT MP
MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESS
Even Better Arrangements to Protect Employee Entitlements Over 90 per cent of workers who lose their entitlements when their companies become insolvent will receive 100 per cent of their entitlements under the new General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme announced by Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, Mr Abbott today.
These enhancements to entitlement protection arrangements for all workers follow the announcement that the Government will meet the statutory and community standard entitlements of Ansett employees who lose their jobs as a result of the airline’s collapse.
"We can no longer wait for the Labor States to recognise their responsibilities to people in these circumstances," the Minister said.
With the enhanced scheme, the Commonwealth will continue to meet the statutory and community standard entitlements owed to terminated workers whose companies cannot pay them.
The new scheme - General Employee Entitlements Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) - replaces the existing Employee Entitlement Support Scheme (EESS). EESS will apply to claims lodged in respect terminations (due to insolvency) up to and including 11 September 2001, and GEERS will apply to terminations (due to insolvency) occurring on or after 12 September 2001.
The new scheme will pay:
All unpaid wages âï¿»ï¿»ï¿» All accrued annual leave âï¿»ï¿»ï¿» All accrued long service leave âï¿»ï¿»ï¿» All accrued pay in lieu of notice, and âï¿»ï¿»ï¿»
Up to 8 weeks redundancy entitlements (as per community standard). âï¿»ï¿»ï¿»
These new arrangements largely mirror those for Ansett employees - except that under GEERS, $75 200 will be the maximum annual wage rate at which benefits will be calculated. People earning more than
this are eligible for GEERS, but GEERS benefits will be paid as if they earned $75 200 per year. This income cap will be indexed annually.
As with EESS, claim forms will be available from insolvency practitioners responsible for winding up particular firms.
Additionally, Government proposes to legislate to give employee entitlements for wages, annual and long service leave and pay in lieu of notice, priority over secured creditors. The Treasurer will be introducing legislation for this purpose after consultation with the finance industry and small business.
Details of these schemes can be obtained by calling 1300 135 040.
For further information contact:
Simone Holzapfel 0417 656 668