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Labor calls on employers to ignore Reith's stunt

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Media Release Hon Arch Bevis MP Federal Member for Brisbane Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

21 December 1998

Labor calls on employers to ignore Reith's stunt

The Federal Opposition has called on employers to ignore Workplace Relations Minister Reith and obey the unfair dismissal law as determined by the Parliament.

Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Arch Bevis, today advised employers against using Reith's regulations to hire and fire workers for the Xmas period.

"Employers need to realise that with a Bill already in the Senate dealing with unfair dismissal, Reith's stunt last Thursday is simply an attempt to circumvent the Senate and the existing law.

"And just like his waterfront stunt, this one is likely to backfire also," Mr Bevis said.

"There is considerable doubt as to the legality of Reith's actions. Initial legal advice confirms that Reith's regulations are open to serious legal challenge.

"Only last year the Senate dismissed similar unfair dismissal regulations. Reith couldn't get them through the Senate then, there's no reason to believe he'll be any more successful this time.

"If employers want to follow Reith down this path they may well find themselves in a legal quagmire next February.

"They'd do well to leave these regulations alone and abide by the law approved by the Parliament, not those simply decreed by Mr Reith," Mr Bevis said.

For further information: John Crawford 07 3356 1888 0419685789