Greens claim 'loophole' to KO WorkChoices

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Greens claim 'loophole' to KO WorkChoices

The NSW Greens claim to have discovered a method of protecting workers currently employed by State-owned corporations from WorkChoices - by making them the employees of the corporation's CEO and not the corporation.

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The NSW Greens claim to have discovered a method of protecting workers currently employed by State-owned corporations from WorkChoices - by making them the employees of the corporation's CEO and not the corporation.

NSW Greens Industrial Relations spokeswoman, Lee Rhiannon, said these workers would then no longer be employees of a corporation, but of a 'natural person' in the form of the CEO or General Manager.

Rhiannon says the NSW government needs to reclaim its power over industrial relations matters now that the High Court has ruled 5-2 in favour of the constitutional validity of the Howard Government's WorkChoices regime.

She has introduced a private member's bill based on advice by the Greens industrial relations legal adviser, barrister David Shoebridge, which she claims will allow the NSW government to go further to protect all public sector workers.

Damaging impact

She said the bill, if passed, would comprehensively protect NSW public sector workers and many private sector workers from WorkChoices, even in light of the High Court's ruling.

'The Greens' bill changes the employment status of workers of State-owned corporations and Local Government workers,' she said. 'These workers would no longer by employees of a corporation, but of a natural person in the form of the CEO or General Manager.

'If passed this would shield these thousands of workers from the damaging impact of WorkChoices.

'The Bill also creates a separate legislative requirement, that tenderers of NSW Government services pay employees, and provide working conditions, at rates that are no less than comparable to workers on State awards.'

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