IR amendments ‘just window dressing’, says Della Bosca

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IR amendments ‘just window dressing’, says Della Bosca

Liberal Senators’ proposed changes to the Federal Government’s IR legislation are just ‘window dressing’ and won’t protect the living standards of workers and their families, NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca says.

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Liberal Senators’ proposed changes to the Federal Government’s IR legislation are just ‘window dressing’ and won’t protect the living standards of workers and their families, NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca says. 

‘The seven amendments put forward by the [Senate] inquiry committee, which was dominated by Government backbenchers, show they were not listening to the submissions and opted for window dressing instead,’ Della Bosca said. 

‘These amendments will do nothing to stop the erosion of real wages and diminish the lifestyle of Australian families.’ 

Della Bosca said ‘strong and clear’ cases had been put forward by churches, welfare groups, unions, State and Territory Ministers, the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, 132 of Australia’s most respected economic researchers and analysts and almost all leading legal authorities. 

Legislation still allows dramatic changes to conditions

Despite this, the legislation would still allow:  

  • Rosters to be changed without notice;

  • Employees to work unlimited unpaid overtime during busier periods of the year;

  • The majority of Australian workers to be legally dismissed at will;

  • No penalty rates for working weekends,

  • No loadings for shift work in the middle of the night; and

  • The minimum wage to be assessed by bureaucrats with no consideration of the cost of living.

Outworkers will not be protected

Della Bosca said one of the Senate inquiry amendments, which recommended greater protection for outworkers, was pointless as it would not be supported by an adequately staffed compliance body.  

‘The Commonwealth will not have enough inspectors to investigate complaints,’ he said. ‘If outworkers want a fair go they may have no choice but to take their employer to court - an expensive and complex exercise.’  

High Court challenge confirmed

Della Bosca said it was no surprise that the Senate inquiry has come up with the ‘wrong conclusions’.  

‘The inquiry was tasked with considering more than 4000 submissions in only five days,’ he said.  

‘Under its narrow terms of reference, unfair dismissal was not even allowed to be discussed and the industrial relations ministers from the States and Territories were each afforded only seven minutes to state their cases.’  

Della Bosca said the inquiry’s recommendations had ‘steeled the NSW Government’s resolve to fight these radical changes in the High Court’.  

Related 

Senate IR Inquiry a rubber stamp, say non-Government parties 

 

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