The recent decision of Abra v SJJ Group Services Pty Ltd is a timely reminder to employers of the implications for not responding to an unfair dismissal claim.
In this case, the employer was sent the claim, and did not respond to it. It did not participate in the conciliation conference. The Employer, although directed by the Commission, did not file any evidence prior to the hearing. The Employer was sent evidence from the employee, but instead sent it back with a note saying “SJJ does not requires your company’s services”. The Employer applied for an adjournment, but this was refused on the basis of its previous conduct in the proceeding.
The final outcome was that Abra’s claim was upheld. Abra was awarded compensation. The employer was not able to reduce the amount of compensation because it had not filed any evidence.
The key take away for employers are:
1. You should always respond to an Unfair Dismissal Claim.
2. You should always respect the Fair Work Commission process and comply with its orders.
3. If you do not file evidence, you are limited in your ability to:
If you need help responding to an unfair dismissal claim, contact us today.
Email Adam Foster, Associate, or call (03) 9629 9629 for a confidential discussion.