Research conducted by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the University of Canberra (UC) has found the number of unfair dismissal claims taken by employees under Labor’s Fair Work Act has increased.


Research shows that the number of unfair dismissal claims lodged under the Fair Work Act has risen to around 17,000 per year, with claimant success rates increasing from 33 per cent to 51 per cent.


Professor Oslington and co-author Benoit Freyens constructed a database of all unfair dismissal cases arbitrated by Fair Work Australia and its predecessor bodies from 2000 to late 2010.


“We found that payouts were much the same under all of the three regimes, averaging about 12 weeks pay, remembering payouts are capped at six months,” Professor Oslington said.


“One of the interesting sidelines was the bunching of payouts around particular figures, which we feel flows from the incoherence of the Sprigg test used by judges to calculate compensation amounts.  A better economically-based procedure for calculating expected future earnings of a dismissed worker is required.”


Professor Oslington said no other country has changed dismissal regulation as radically as Australia has done twice over a short period of time.