Opposition calls for award modernisation to be scrapped

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Opposition calls for award modernisation to be scrapped

The Opposition has called on the Federal Government to scrap award modernisation, saying it will cost jobs.

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The Opposition has called on the Federal Government to scrap award modernisation, saying it will cost jobs.
 
The Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Michael Keenan, called on the Government to reconsider the award modernisation process and concentrate on jobs.
 
Keenan's comments followed the Government announcement of increased and immediate financial assistance for redundant workers, including training.
 
'Award Modernisation will cost jobs and the Government knows this is the case,' Keenan said.
 
Hypocritical
 
'This makes the Government's redundancy assistance announcement absolutely hypocritical.'
 
'Gillard and Rudd hand out money for redundant workers with one hand — but with the other hand they are knowingly creating conditions that will lead to more redundancies.'
 
Keenan said IR Minister Julia Gillard's latest request for award modernisation was issued on 18 December 2008, right in the middle of the first 'cash splash', which was supposedly going to create 75,000 jobs.
 
He said award modernisation will lead to increased labour costs of up to 22%, significant job losses and businesses shutting their doors.
 
Can't take any more
 
'Small business, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, simply cannot take any more hits given these challenging times,' Keenan said.
 
'Many businesses, often small, family-owned and run, have written to me saying they are just hanging on, they are trying to keep staff and they desperately want to keep trading — but this will be the last straw.'
 
Keenan said reconsidering the award modernisation process in the current economic environment 'is a simple yet significant step to stemming the loss of jobs that this process will cause'.
 
'Award modernisation right now is bad for industry and bad for jobs,' he said.
 
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