Greens win IR amendments, but independents holding out

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Greens win IR amendments, but independents holding out

The Greens have reached an agreement with the Federal Government on six amendments to the Fair Work Australia Bill, including a review of modern awards after two years, and the removal of right-of-entry conscientious objector provisions.

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The Greens have reached an agreement with the Federal Government on six amendments to the Fair Work Australia Bill, including a review of modern awards after two years, and the removal of right-of-entry conscientious objector provisions.
 
However, the definition of a small business in regard to the unfair dismissal laws still remained a sticking point as WorkplaceInfo was published.
 
Deadlock over unfair dismissals
 
The current provisions in the Bill define a small business as 15 employees or fewer, but the independent senators Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon are holding out for cut-off at 20 employees.
 
The Coalition has yet to define its position, saying it will wait until it sees the final Bill.
 
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokeswoman on Industrial Relations said the amendments had been agreed to in a letter from IR Minister Julia Gillard, which the Greens have released.
 
‘It is sad to see workers' rights have become a commodity in the political arena,’ Senator Siewert said. ‘With this agreement, the Greens have restored some equality to the workplace.'
 
‘The Greens support the rollback of WorkChoices, but the Rudd Government's Fair Work Bill still falls short of the mark.'
 
Same rights for all workers
 
‘The same rights should be extended to all workers regardless of their position or situation.’
 
Key details of the Greens agreement with the government include:
  • the right of parents of children with disabilities to request flexible working arrangements
  • an interim review of modern awards after two years
  • a review of individual flexibility arrangements, pay equity and the operation of the right to request flexible working arrangements
  • a review of employment law services
  • removal of conscientious objection certificates regarding right of entry.

 

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