ACTU says families will be hit by new IR laws

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ACTU says families will be hit by new IR laws

The ACTU is claiming that the Federal Government’s new IR system will make families worse off.

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The ACTU is claiming that the Federal Government’s new IR system will make families worse off. 

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said at a conference at Monash University today that a recent report by the Federal Government itself shows this to be the case. 

Burrows said the 2004 Department of Employment and Workplace Relations report finds that of all individual contracts (AWAs):  

  • 92% do not provide paid maternity leave.

  • 95% do not provide paid paternity leave.

  • 96% do not provide unpaid ‘purchased’ leave such as extra leave during school holidays.

‘The only widely available family-friendly provisions in individual contracts (AWAs) are for bereavement leave (49%),’ she said. 

‘This report shows that working families are already worse off when they are employed on one of the Government’s preferred AWA individual contracts - and it suggests they are going to be even worse off under the new IR laws.  

All about AWAs

‘The Government’s industrial relations plans are all about pushing workers on to individual contracts (AWAs) that can cut people’s take-home pay and remove conditions like overtime, shift penalty rates, meal breaks, rostering protections and public holiday penalties. 

‘Removing these protections will lead to longer and more irregular hours as well as unsocial work at nights and on weekends. All of this will clearly be bad for families.’ 

Burrow said the Government tried to ‘muddy the wages’ water by arguing that AWA workers are higher paid than EBA workers, and award workers.   

‘When like is compared with like, and managerial employees are excluded, AWA employees earn 2% less per hour than EBA workers, and for women, the difference is 11% per hour,’ Burrow said. 

‘In dollar terms it is $70 a week less for full time women workers and a whopping $141 less for women in permanent part time work – the preferred option for the majority of women generally.’

Related 

‘No disadvantage’ test to be scrapped

 

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