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Beazley over-cooks unlawful claims.

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Hon. Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 05 September, 2006

Media Release


Beazley Over-Cooks Unlawful Claims

Kim Beazley today claimed there had been a “massive rise in unlawful dismissal cases.” (Doorstop, Parliament


What he didn’t say was this “massive rise” referred to 32 applications for unlawful termination to either the

Federal Court or the Federal Magistrates Court from March 2006 until June 2006.

What he also didn’t say was this compared to, on average, 19 unlawful termination applications filed across each

of the previous nine years.

In contrast 63,000 unfair dismissal claims were heard by the AIRC from January 1997 until June last year.

Is it Kim Beazley’s desire that there should be more unlawful termination cases to rival the volume of unfair

dismissal applications in the past?

His comments today were bizarre given his recent acknowledgment of the need to unburden small business from

unfair dismissal laws:

The problem that they (employers) confront, is when you get a bloke, or a person who is an employee, who's a

con artist, a rorter, who knows that if you can get the small businessman to shut his shop for a couple of days,

drag him down to the IRC, put him through the mill it'll be worth ten grand for him to send you away. And you

get a lawyer who's prepared to do it for that and take three from you and you take seven and walk out the


(21 July 2006, ABC Radio Brisbane)

Kim Beazley can’t have it both ways. He either supports the removal of unfair dismissal laws, which has helped

create 159,000 new jobs under WorkChoices. Or he is paving the way for another weak-kneed capitulation to the

unions who would re-shackle small business with the burden of an unfair dismissal regime.

In contrast, the Government has ensured employees have access to appropriate remedies where they consider

they may have been unlawfully dismissed, while the onus remains on an employer to prove otherwise.

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Furthermore, where there is a legitimate unlawful dismissal claim, this Government has introduced, for the first

time, a scheme to provide up to $4000 free legal advice to assist them to pursue it.

The bottom-line is the Government has introduced a simpler, fairer system for both employees and employers.

A simpler, fairer system which has helped create 159,000 jobs since its introduction.

For further information contact:

Brad Burke 0421 586 478

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