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The changes made to the Workplace Relations Act introduced by the Howard Government have not yet been rectified so the Act at present doesn’t allow for employees to sue for dismissal on grounds of unfairness unless the size of the employer’s organisation exceeds 100 employees.

Agreement

Currently the Rudd government intends to allow employees to sue for unfair dismissal restricted to places of employment exceeding 10 employees. This restriction doesn’t apply where a person may issue proceedings for unlawful termination as distinct from unfair dismissal.

Unfair dismissal is defined under the Workplace Relations Act as ‘harsh, unjust, and, unreasonable’. Person dismissed unlawfully, that is dismissed on grounds of race, gender or religion, can issue proceedings regardless of size of place of employment.

A person may be employed as an independent contractor or employee and this can sometimes be hard to determine the case of either employee or contractor. A contractor cannot seek remedies available to an employee. Consequently enquiries will be made by the court or tribunal as to whether the person is an employee or contractor utilising the most common test, that is, the control or supervision over the employee. Subcontractors may not be entitled to superannuation, workers compensation coverage, or holiday pay.

RRR (Rossi, Ryan, and Raniga) Lawyers has experience in Employment Law and has acted for employers and employees at the Industrial Relations Commission. Prakash Raniga has drafted employment contracts for employers and given advice to employees regarding contracts submitted for signature.

RRR (Rossi, Ryan, and Raniga) Lawyers has also acted for employees who have sought to address issues under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995. The first port of call for employees is mediation. If issues cannot be resolved through mediation, the employee has opportunity to issue proceedings to VCAT.

Prakash Raniga has acted for employer and employee in respect of actions and proceedings under the Equal Opportunity Act at VCAT.

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