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Law of unlawful dismissal

Ruling case
High Court's response

Attorneys-General's responses

Prime Minister's Department's responses
Department of Employment's responses
Senate's response to petition
Senate's response to submission

Other websites and radio published the matter


The Prime Ministers Department’s response

A.      The John Howard’s Prime Minister’s Department held (the letter from the Prime Minister’s office): 

a.      the concerns on the ruling case were ‘the policy matter’, and advised

b.      ‘raise the matter’ ‘with the incoming government once the outcome of the election is known’.

B.      The Kevin Rudd’s Prime Minister’s Department held (the letter one page 1 and 2, the letter two page 1 and 2):

a.     the ruling case ‘is incorrect’,

b.     the matter ‘relates to the protection of employees who are given apparently unlawful direction by their employers in the workplace’, but

c.     the Prime Minister had no jurisdiction to do anything about it because Section 78B of the Judiciary Act 1903 only gives the jurisdictional power to the Attorneys-General. 

C.    When Kevin Rudd was the Leader of the Opposition, he expressed (Kevin Rudd’s email) he had no resource to directly respond to constituents living out of his federal electorate of Griffith due to ‘the constraints of being in Opposition’, but he did see all correspondence.

D.     Kevin Rudd  addressed to the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2008 (Kevin Rudd’s speech to UN):

‘And as a global community we resolved that we would act to reduce the risk of such systemic crises in the future.

'The problem is, a decade on, systemic lessons were not learned.

'And now we face a financial crisis of truly global proportions.

'We must, therefore, ask ourselves three questions:

•     what went wrong;

•     what needs to be done now to fix the problem of financial market stability for the long term; and most critically

•     how we marshal the political will to do so.

'First, what went wrong.

'There has been a failure of internal governance within financial institutions.

'There has also been a failure of external oversight.'

E.     The Kevin Rudd Government repeatedly asserted (The Rudd Government’s media release):

‘The Rudd Government has no tolerance for conduct which breaks the law, whether it be unlawful industrial action or underpayment of employment.'

A young worker was sacked after complaining about underpayment. He submitted (the young worker’s submission to the Senate) to the Senate that the law of unlawful dismissal interpreted by the Court:

‘scrub out the only alternative existing remedy available for a young worker seeking protection against arbitrary dismissal in such circumstances’.

But the Rudd Government fails to do anything against the ‘incorrect’ ruling. A study conducted by Curtin University of Technology in 2007—A Study of Low Paid Work and Low Paid Workers in Western Australia—found workers believe if they are seen as rocking the boat they might be ousted.

Implicitly, the Rudd Government only worries about ‘unlawful industrial action’. The Governments tolerate that employers enforce apparently unlawful directions, on the other hand, outlaw industrial actions and put union official into jail (the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard’s letter to an union secretary).