Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances is at the centre of a Fair Work Commission after receiving a rare scholarship from a Sydney design school.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a former employee of the Whitehouse Institute of Design has filed an “adverse action” complaint in the Fair Work Commission.
The employee in question was reportedly the focus of an internal investigation by the Whitehouse Institute of Design after media discovered that Abbott’s daughter had accepted a $60,636 scholarship from the school.
A spokesperson from the school confirmed that it had investigated an employee over concerns that “student confidentiality was breached”. He declined to name the student but a Fairfax source reportedly confirmed that it was Ms Abbott.
Ms Abbott was allegedly recommended for the scholarship by Liberal Party donor and Mr Abbott’s close friend, Les Taylor – a chairman on the school’s board of governors.
Ian Tudor, chief executive of the Whitehouse Institute of Design, said the school felt “confident” that the ex-employee’s case was “without merit”.
“The Whitehouse Institute is confident that the adverse action case is without merit and has no prospect of success,” Mr Tudor told Fairfax media.
“The former employee concerned was subject to an internal disciplinary review and resigned before that review was complete.”
The case is due to appear before Fair Work Commission vice-president Joe Catanzariti in Sydney in coming weeks.
When asked for comment, a representative for Mr Abbott told Fairfax media, “the Prime Minister is aware of the claim but won’t comment on any legal proceeding currently underway”.