In Today's Media

Push to swap penalties for higher pay rate (27/02/2017)
Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell will push to allow retail and fast-food companies to trade penalty rates and overtime for a single higher hourly pay rate. As buoyant employers seek to build on the Fair Work Commission’s historic cut to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates, Ms Carnell said her agency would present modelling in support of the plan to the tribunal in coming months.
Source: The Australian

Big retailers to seize on penalty rates change to push through new deals with workers (27/02/2017)
Australia's biggest retailers are expected to seize on the landmark cut to Sunday penalty rates to push for new deals covering hundreds of thousands of their workers. Staff at Woolworths and Wesfarmers-owned businesses, including Coles, Kmart, Target, and Bunnings, are employed under wage agreements that expired long before this week's Fair Work Commission ruling on weekend pay.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Is your workplace making you sick? (27/02/2017)
We spend more that 30 per cent of our lives at work, so it comes as no surprise that our work environment has a major effect on our health. These can range from physical, mental and emotional stresses which can affect our wellbeing.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Merge or fold: Super fund administrator sounds warning to small funds (27/02/2017)
One of Australia's biggest super fund administrators, has urged small funds to merge with bigger funds or risk folding in the next 12 months. The warning came as the banking regulator warns it is "turning up the heat" on serial underperforming funds based on criteria such as their size, asset allocation and net cash flows.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Penalty rate cuts to hasten "mass casualisation" of Australian workforce: report (27/02/2017)
Cuts to penalty rates will hasten the "mass casualisation" of Australia's workforce, leading to a decrease in job security, less paid leave and more workplace stress, a new report warns. The McKell Institute says the Fair Work Commission's "alarming" decision to cut penalty rates for a range of retail, hospitality and fast food workers will further discourage employees from pursuing secure part-time or full-time work, pushing them instead into less secure but higher-paying casual jobs.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Coca-Cola support package to train workers for life after SA closure (24/02/2017)
Financial counselling, career advice and training worth about $4,000 will be offered to every Coca-Cola employee who will be out of work by 2019.
Source: ABC

Tasmanian JBS abattoir workers to be stood down again, union slams company' (24/02/2017)
The Meatworkers Union has slammed a northern Tasmanian abattoir for standing down a quarter of its workforce for four weeks.
Source: ABC

Tasmanian forum aiming to inspire women to enter into male-dominated fields (24/02/2017)
If you are an Australian university graduate applying for a job and you happen to be a woman, the unfortunate reality is that your gender places you a step behind your male counterpart.
Source: ABC

Patties Foods blames latest job cuts in Bairnsdale on high energy prices (24/02/2017)
Patties Foods has announced a series of redundancies as part of an efficiency review at its Bairnsdale factory in Victoria's east.
Source: ABC

Penalty rates protester at Bill Shorten press conference will not lose a cent from cuts (24/02/2017)
A worker who stood alongside Opposition Leader Bill Shorten complaining the penalty cuts would cost him $109 a week is a Labor Party member and will not lose a dollar.
Source: ABC

Penalty rate change: The arguments for and against (24/02/2017)
So what were the arguments for and against the change?
Source: ABC

Penalty rate cuts: Workers react to Fair Work Commission's decision (24/02/2017)
The ABC asked retail, hospitality workers and students who are likely to be affected by the changes for their thoughts.
Source: ABC

Penalty rates: Labor vows to stop Fair Work Commission cuts (24/02/2017)
The move to slash Sunday penalty rates could face a legal and political battle, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten vowing to stop the cuts.
Source: ABC

Medicinal marijuana sale approved by Federal Government (22/02/2017)
Medical marijuana will soon be easier to access amid moves by the Federal Government to boost local supply and loosen importation laws.
Source: ABC

Federal projects on agenda as construction code tweaked (22/02/2017)
Employers claim to have secured changes to the Turnbull government’s construction code which will allow them to win federal work until September without changing current non-compliant workplace agreements. Companies will be able to retain non-compliant deals provided they strike a new code-compliant agreement specifically covering the contracted federal work.
Source: The Australian

Coca-Cola Amatil to close South Australia plant, cut 180 jobs (22/02/2017)
Coca-Cola Amatil will close its manufacturing plant in South Australia, cutting about 180 jobs, and shift the work to Queensland as part of a $90 million supply chain restructure. As part of its profit announcement on Wednesday, the beverage giant said it had reviewed its operations across Australia and concluded it should increase production in Queensland and Western Australia and close its plant in the Adelaide suburb of Thebarton.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Lost 9 minutes is worth 400 jobs (21/02/2017)
The government’s top public service adviser says tax office ­employees’ refusal to work an extra nine minutes daily does not meet community standards, as the agency comes under fire for costing taxpayers 90,000 days ­annually in lost productivity. Amid a heated debate about the Australian Taxation Office’s duty to help ease the nation’s debt burden, Australian Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd declared the agency’s working hours, which see staff clock-off at 4.51pm, were “at the lower end of community standards”.
Source: The Australian

Watchdog to act on building code confusion (21/02/2017)
The Australian Building and Construction Commission will seek to address industry uncertainty about the new construction code allowing for builders to get federal government work. Legal experts have hit out at the broad wording of the code, warning that it gives ABCC head Nigel Hadgkiss the discretion to object to virtually any clause in a workplace agreement.
Source: The Australian

Commonwealth Bank faces claim it owes millions of dollars in unpaid super to part-time workers (21/02/2017)
More than 7000 Commonwealth Bank of Australia part-time staff are owed millions of dollars in unpaid superannuation entitlements, according to legal advice. The Finance Sector Union of Australia claims 7000 part-time staff, including the lowest paid, have not received their full superannuation entitlements since at least 2009.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Franchise chains are responsible for fair wages, says Caltex boss (21/02/2017)
As I wrote in November, franchising has served Australian business – large and small – very well for decades, providing economic returns and opportunities for both franchisors and franchisees. While the industry is well-regulated by the ACCC and the Fair Work Ombudsman, the number of ongoing incidents relating to wage underpayment or mistreatment of workers by franchisees is undermining community confidence in franchising.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Cutting Sunday penalty rates would threaten Coalition in marginal seats: poll (21/02/2017)
The Turnbull government would likely feel an electoral backlash in marginal seats if Sunday penalty rates are cut, polling suggests. The long overdue decision of the Fair Work Commission on streamlining weekend pay rates is expected imminently, setting up another political brawl.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald