Employers’ plan to ‘slash and burn’ modern awards: ACTU

News

Employers’ plan to ‘slash and burn’ modern awards: ACTU

Employers want to lock workers into long-term flexibility agreements, and remove minimum shifts and penalty rates for casuals, in proposed ‘radical’ changes to modern awards, according to the ACTU.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

Employers want to lock workers into long-term flexibility agreements, and remove minimum shifts and penalty rates for casuals, in proposed ‘radical’ changes to modern awards, according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

The ACTU has published an employers’ ‘wish list’ of changes it says are included in employer submissions to this year’s review of modern awards.

Undermine award entitlements
 
The ACTU claims employers are seeking to undermine award entitlements in a number of ways, including:
  • extending the number of matters subject to IFAs and increasing the notice period for termination so that employees are effectively locked in to an ‘agreement’
  • removing important protections on hours of work for part-time employees, including minimum shifts, mutual agreement on hours of work in writing, notice of changes to roster and access to overtime payments for work performed outside the agreed hours. (These changes mean that part-time employees would effectively be treated as casuals without the loading.)
  • reducing penalties for casual employees particularly on weekends and public holidays.
  • introducing annualised salary arrangements to avoid payment of allowances, penalties and overtime
  • enabling employers to direct employees to take leave
  • removing important safeguards (eg 4 weeks of notice of close-down rather than 8 weeks).
It says that retail employers want to pay some employees at the minimum wage plus commissions and annualise salaries in lieu of penalty rates, overtime and allowances.

Abolish penalty rates
 
The ACTU says retailers also want to abolish evening penalty rates, halve the penalty rate for Sunday work and reduce the casual loading.

It claims that building and construction workers would be forced to buy their own safety gear under proposals for that industry.

And it claims there is a move to offer teachers fixed-term contracts rather than permanent jobs.
 
Post details