Volunteer fireys safe from workplace dismissal

Volunteer fireys safe from workplacedismissal

14 December 2006

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — Workplace laws prohibit any boss from sacking staff involved involuntary fire fighting, the Federal Government says.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said employers could not dismissany workers involved in voluntary emergency service activities.

“It’s timely, in the height of the bushfire season, to remind employers ofthat,” he told Sky News.

“We’re all in this together. Whether employers or employees, we need topull together and it would be totally inappropriate for any employer to sacksomeone because they’re out there fighting a fire.”

Mr Andrews said the laws provided for a penalty of up to $10,000 whichapplied to an employer who acted inappropriately.

“I would hope that nobody would do that,” he said.

“Anybody who voluntarily goes out and fights a fire, because they’reserving their community, is protected by the legislation, as it should be.”

He said the Office of Workplace Services would look into any claims thatvolunteer workers had been sacked.

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