Michaelia Cash, Employment Minister, announced Lawler’s resignation in the Senate this afternoon.
“Shortly before Question Time, I received notice from the office of the official secretary to the Governor-General, indicating that His Excellency today received a letter from Mr Michael Lawler resigning as a presidential member of the Fair Work Commission,” she said.
“Mr Lawler’s resignation from the Fair Work Commission commences with immediate effect.”
A week ago, former Federal Court Judge Peter Heeley received an independent report on Lawler’s conduct while at the FWC.
Lawler had been under scrutiny for taking sick leave for over nine months on full pay. While on leave, he unsuccessfully helped his partner, Kathy Jackson, a former Health Services Union official, fight a ruling by the Federal Court that she misused $1.4 million of union funds.
In October, president of the FWC, Iain Ross, told a Senate hearing he had approved 215 days of sick leave for Lawler as he deemed him medically unfit to fulfil his duties.
“He did not seek and I did not approve leave for the purpose of assisting his partner in legal proceedings,” he said.
Whether Lawler’s resignation will have an effect on the internal operations and decision-making processes of the Fair Work Commission has yet to be seen.
Michael Lawler, the vice-president of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has resigned a day before he was due to respond to a report on his controversial use of sick leave.