8000 calls flood in to NSW WorkChoices hotline

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8000 calls flood in to NSW WorkChoices hotline

The NSW Government’s ‘Fair Go’ hotline to deal with questions about the WorkChoices legislation has already taken almost 8000 calls.

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The NSW Government’s ‘Fair Go’ hotline to deal with questions about the WorkChoices legislation has already taken almost 8000 calls.

The Minister for Industrial relations, John Della Bosca, told NSW Parliament yesterday that this meant that 8,000 employers and employees in the State needed assistance from the Office of Industrial Relations to attempt to understand their new rights, ‘or the lack of them’, and obligations in the WorkChoices environment.

‘These calls have revealed the real impact of WorkChoices on workplaces in New South Wales,’ he said.

Some of the complaints

Della Bosca listed some of the problems callers had raised regarding how the WorkChoices legislation was being imposed:

  • A South Coast caravan park employee who moved from interstate to take up a new job was sacked after raising concerns about her Australian workplace agreement [AWA];
  • A Nambucca woman had a job offer withdrawn when she raised a simple question about the AWA she was offered. She was then told, ‘You are not the right sort of person’;
  • A Sydney woman was told, ‘the award does not apply any more’, and she will no longer receive penalty rates on weekends;
  • On 28 March a single mother was dismissed from a hairdressing salon after five years of service;
  • A third-year apprentice baker-pastry cook who was asked to sign an agreement without penalty rates;
  • A Cobar club employee who had worked part-time for more than two years but who was sacked this week without reason;
  • A meatworker from Lithgow who was working only a few days when he suffered an injury at work and was then sacked on the first day of WorkChoices;
  • A casual machine operator who had worked for his employer for two years but when he requested two days off work was sacked.

Seminar program

Della Bosca said the Office of Industrial Relations is running an expanded seminar program throughout NSW to help employers and employees understand their rights and obligations under this State’s laws.

‘Ironically, employees at the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations were some of the first people to sign up for these seminars, which have been extremely well attended and filled with NSW employers concerned about the negative impact of WorkChoices on their businesses,’ he said.

‘They are concerned about being forced off awards and into the federal system; they are concerned about staff morale and productivity; they are concerned about the complex and prescriptive nature of WorkChoices and the increased risk of non-compliance; and they are concerned about the onerous and costly record-keeping requirements.

‘The bottom line is that WorkChoices is overly complex, prescriptive, and confusing for everyone.’

Fair Go advisory line

The Fair Go advisory service can be reached on 13 16 28

Related

NSW women get help on WorkChoices

‘Cowardly’ NSW Opposition ducks WorkChoices vote

 

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