Changes coming — bullying, pickets, Holden . . .


Changes coming — bullying, pickets, Holden . . .

Anti-bullying feedback to umpire by today | Vic Government to act on unlawful pickets and blockades | Holden decision — government attacked by unions


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Anti-bullying feedback to umpire by today

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is seeking feedback by today (12 December) on a draft revision of the FWC Rules 2013, to include its forthcoming anti-bullying jurisdiction, as well as the forms to be completed by workers who allege workplace bullying and those accused of this behaviour.

Reforms to the Fair Work Act 2009, implemented by the previous Federal Government, will mean that from 1 January 2014, workers who reasonably believe they have been bullied at work will be able to make an application to the Commission for relief from ‘repeated, unreasonable behaviour … that creates a risk to health and safety’.

The Commission will be required to start dealing with a matter within 14 days of an application being made, and will be empowered to make any order it deems appropriate (other than an order for pecuniary damages or reinstatement) such as an order for ‘the individual or group of individuals to stop the specified behaviour’.

See: Anti-bullying laws: the FWC is getting ready

Any feedback on these documents should be emailed by Thursday, 12 December 2013.

In addition, the Commission is still seeking feedback, via email, on its draft Anti-Bullying Benchbook by the end of this month. 

Vic Government to act on unlawful pickets and blockades

New move-on laws being brought into Parliament by the Victorian Coalition Government will give Victoria Police the power to end unlawful union pickets and protester blockades that threaten to shut down businesses.
The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013 will expand the existing grounds for which police may issue move-on orders under the Summary Offences Act.

Orders will in future be able to be issued where a person:
    • is impeding lawful access to premises;
    • has committed an offence in the public place;
    • is causing others to have a reasonable fear of violence; or
    • is endangering safety or engaging in behaviour likely to cause damage to property.
Union-friendly restrictions on the use of move-on powers by police at unlawful pickets and blockades, which were introduced by the former Labor Government, will not apply in these circumstances.

Holden decision — government attacked by unions

An appalling lack of leadership from government will cost up to 50,000 Australian workers their jobs, following the announcement by Holden that it will cease production in 2017, unions said today.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said the Liberal Government has comprehensively failed its first test.

‘As a result of Government inaction Australia will lose up to 50,000 direct skilled jobs in the automotive industry, $21 billion will be wiped from the economy and regions will go into recession,’ Oliver said.
‘This is the most significant economic decision the Abbott Government has made and it’s going to have catastrophic consequences for our country.’

SA Unions said the news of the closure of Holden by the end of 2017 is a body blow to South Australian workers. And the blame lies squarely at the feet of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party.
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