Increase in Income and Compensation Caps for Unfair Dismissal Claims

From 1 July 2015, the income and compensation caps for unfair dismissal claims are set to increase. The high income threshold in unfair dismissal cases will rise from $133,000 to $136,700. The high income threshold restricts access to the unfair dismissal regime for employees not covered by an award or enterprise agreement. The maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded for unfair dismissal claims will also rise from $66,500 to $68,350. This increase in income and compensation caps is consistent with the 2.5 percent increase in the minimum wage which will take effect from 1 July 2015, which was reported in our May edition of the Monthly Update—Australian Labour & Employment.

Fair Work Commission to Investigate Reduction of Award Complexity

Justice Iain Ross, president of the Fair Work Commission ("FWC"), has told a conference held on 26 June 2015 that the FWC plans to investigate ways to make award regulation less complex in workplaces which are subject to multiple award coverage. Justice Ross also stated that the FWC does not plan to reduce the complexity of award regulation by reducing the overall number of awards. In doing so, Justice Ross noted the success of the modern award review in reducing the regulatory complexity associated with the overall reduction in industrial instruments. The FWC plans to produce a background paper on the issue which it intends to release in four to six weeks' time.

Thanks to Associates Michael Whitbread and Stephanie Crosbie and Graduate Talia Calgaro for their assistance in the preparation of this Update.