The new Fair Work Australia Rules 2010 and associated forms, which commenced on 1 January 2011, are available now. The interim Fair Work Australia Rules have been in place since the commencement of the Fair Work Act 2009 and since they are still relatively new, not many changes were made. However, it is important to make sure that if you are completing any of the forms associated with the rules, you are using the most up to date versions.

Mostly formatting changes have been made to the Rules to clarify Fair Work Australia requirements and each form has had some amendment. In most cases the changes to the forms are minimal in nature however several forms have had service requirements clarified.

Form F3 has been amended to take account of the definition of a small business employer from 1 January 2011. The old meaning referred to a business that employs less than 15 full-time equivalent employees, and the new definition refers to a business that employs fewer than 15 employees (this includes casual, part-time, full-time.) Form F3 is used by employers to respond to applications for unfair dismissal remedies made by past employees. An unfair dismissal occurs where an employee makes an unfair dismissal remedy application and Fair Work Australia (FWA) finds that:

•   the employee was dismissed, and
•   the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, and
•   the dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy, and
•   the dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, where the employee was employed by a small business.

Two new forms, Form F23A and 23B, have been drawn to accompany Form F23, an application for approval of a variation of an enterprise agreement. F23A is for employers and F23B is for employee organisations, both of which allow the parties to make declarations that support and approve of proposed changes to an agreement.

Here at The Quinn Group our experienced team of lawyers can assist you with your business’ Fair Work Act enquiries. For this or for any other employment law issues please submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to book an appointment.