Saturday, June 11, 2016

Indian mission told to follow Aussie laws: Sydney consulate fined $10,620 for "unfair" dismissal of employee

Sydney Consul general B Vanlalvawna
By Our Representative
In what is being interpreted by the Indian diaspora across Australia as “not a very bright event” for the community, the Indian consulate in Sydney has been fined $10,620 over “unfair dismissal” of an employee, who claims to be a whistleblower, Hitendra Kumar, an immigrant working with it as a driver.
A report published in the “South Asia Times (SAT)” (June 2016), a periodical published from Melbourne, Australia, has said that after Kumar’s employment was terminated, he challenged “the unfair dismissal” in the Fair Work Commission court.
Talking about what went wrong, Kumar has been quoted as saying, “When I began to highlight serious issues and discrepancies in what was going on at the consulate, I was sacked on a trumped up charge. I’m delighted that I’ve been vindicated by the Courts.”
The judgement went in favour of the employee after the consulate put up stiff resistance despite the court providing the option for an out-of-course settlement, which could have “saved a lot of money and embarrassment and litigation for the consulate.”
Based on documents obtained by Ashok Kumar of the “Indian Subcontinent Times, Sidney, the report said, the consulate “opted to go ahead with the court with proceedings and thereby incurring three times the cost and ended up paying 12 weeks’ salary $10,620.”
Ashok Kumar
“The consulate ignored the fact that working laws are different in Australia than in India and it had to follow Australian procedures when dealing with any Australian citizen or permanent resident as the employee of the consulate”, the report said.
The report quoted Transport Workers’ Union acting secretary Richard Olsen welcoming the decision by the Fair Work Commission to award a driver “unfairly” dismissed by the Indian consulate, saying that it would send “a clear message that no employer is above the law.”
Olsen said, “This decision sends a message to all workers in Australia, especially foreign migrants, that you have rights no matter who your boss is or what they tell you. It also sends a message to employers that even if you have diplomatic immunity, you still have to play by Australian workplace laws.”
He further said, “There are systematic problems with the exploitation of foreign workers in Australia”, adding, “From 7-Eleven, the transport industry and all the way up to foreign embassies, we have seen foreign migrants underpaid, exploited and sacked by their bosses if they speak up.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Discuss the actual case's details mate rather than beating around the bush or at least give the link to the case order itself.