SMALL BUSINESS-BLACK ECONOMY: A warning has been issued to small businesses that operate the “black economy”. SmartCompany, April 6, 2017 reported: “The small business community can reportedly expect to see measures that address the so-called “black economy” in next month’s federal budget, . . However, it’s not yet clear what measures, if any, the government will include in the May 9 federal budget to tackle these concerns. Alex Malley, chief executive of CPA Australia, told SmartCompany [on April 6, 2017] before considering any new regulations, the government must first ensure there’s enough evidence to prove that the problem cannot be tackled under existing laws.

“A FAIR GO”: is a long standing principle enshrined in Australian employment law, in particular with respect to the dismissal of an employee, the employer does have the right to dismiss an employee for misconduct, provided that he/she accords the employee natural justice and procedural fairness – “a fair go”. That is, the right for an employee to be told the reason for the dismissal and the right of the employee to have an opportunity to respond in his/her defence.

In SmartCompany’s report of April 10, 2017 under the heading: ‘“Disgraceful”: Business owner speaks out after Fair Work sides with sacked worker who wrote offensive Facebook post’, “Commissioner Gregory ruled the process through which the staff member was dismissed did not provide him “any real opportunity to provide an explanation or response to the reason” for his sacking.” “Disgraceful”? He also said: “. . . while the staff member’s Facebook post was “crude and immature”, it did not appear it was directed at anybody that worked for LED Technologies. ” “Disgraceful”? On both counts the employee was not given “a fair go”.

In our judgment, the Commissioner was absolutely correct in his Decision, and whilst the employer in this case may well protest and cry “Disgraceful”, he failed to give his employee an opportunity to respond to the allegation and “it did not appear it was directed at anybody that worked for LED Technologies.” Not “a fair go”. (See report below)