Franchise Council Australia supports small business

FCA supports changes to the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code

The Franchise Council of Australia has welcomed recommended changes to the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, following a review by the office of the Small Business and Family Ombudsman.

“The complexity of the code has resulted in too many small businesses being dragged into costly unfair dismissal hearings and it’s critical to set out clear expectations for employers in such situations,” said FCA CEO Mary Aldred.  

 “It’s hard to attract, train and retain good staff and the majority of small business owners don’t terminate a worker without serious consideration,” said Ms Aldred.

“Most businesses try to do the right thing and it’s of concern that 65 per cent of unfair dismissal cases presented to the Fair Work Commission in the first quarter of 2019 were dismissed because they were without merit or deemed legally invalid”.

“The recommended changes would provide clarity and fairness for all parties in a contested dismissal situation,” said Ms Aldred.

The Small Business and Family Ombudsman's recommendations aim to make the Code easier for small business employers to comply with and make it easier for the Commission to rely on the improved definitions and clarified requirements. The recommendations will better enable the Code to achieve its original intent - that if small business employers comply with the Code when dismissing an employee, that dismissal will be deemed fair.

The Recommendations:

  • Amendments to ensure the code meets its intended functions and objectives and provides certainty on what is required of small business employers to ensure a dismissal is fair.
  • Defining what is serious misconduct.
  • Improving small business education and awareness in relation to the Code and checklists to help them meet their obligations.
  • Clarifying the unfair dismissal claims process for small business employers and employees.
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