From 1 July this year amendments will to the Fair Work Act 2009 will:
- Increase the small employment claims cap from $20,000.00 to $100,000.00; and
- Clarify the Court’s power to award an employee’s filing fees as costs.
Interest awarded by the court on a claim will not count towards the $100,000 cap, which, in conjunction with the increase, means much larger sums can be awarded under this process than before. This is a significant change because the small claims process is designed to be a simpler process, and parties can represent themselves without incurring the cost of a solicitor.
It is expected that the simplified, low-cost, small claims process and higher threshold will increase the likelihood of employees making claims, such as those for underpayments.
Disclaimer: please note that this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Australian law is complex and ever changing, and you should always obtain advice specific to your circumstances from a qualified legal practitioner. The value of penalty units also changes from time to time. If you require advice, please contact us on (07) 5479 2457 or at [email protected] to see how we can help.