Labor toying with contract concessions for high earners

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Labor toying with contract concessions for high earners

Employees earning over $100,000 may be able to sign individual common law contracts that are exempt from awards, under a concession being considered by the Federal Labor party.

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Employees earning over $100,000 may be able to sign individual common law contracts that are exempt from awards, under a concession being considered by the Federal Labor party.

Media reports today indicate the ALP believes the change makes the common law contract 'almost as flexible as AWAs'.

It is likely the move is being considered due to pressure from business, particularly major mining companies that do not support the ALP's pledge to 'scrap AWAs'  if it wins power at this year's Federal election.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, one WA Labor MP has confirmed there was a push by MPs and candidates for Labor to 'water down' the plan to scrap AWAs because it was 'hurting the party's chances among highly paid mining employees'.

However, Shadow IR Minister, Julia Gillard, would only state: 'Labor's policy will work for Australians in each and every State and Territory'.

Another WA Labor MP supported the idea of more flexible common law contracts for high earners, the report states.

Partly fixes problem

Reportedly, Australian Mines and Minerals Association CEO, Steve Knott, said the concession  would remove part of the industry's concerns about the abolishment of AWAs, as it would allow miners to have a 'flexible' relationship with their employer.

However, according to the AFR report, Knott said it did not address concerns over industrial action, 'because the illegality of strikes for employees on AWAs was crucial in ensuring continuity of supply'.

Economic 'old days

IR Minister, Joe Hockey, has previously argued that Labor's IR policies would take Australia's economy back to the days before 1993.

Hockey made the claims last week, based on an independent economic study released by Econtech, which suggested abolishing the workplace reforms since 1993 would make a person on average wages with an average mortgage $4,063 worse off per year (comprising a $787 cut to real wages after tax and a $3,276 increase in mortgage repayments).

Related

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Abolishing AWAs is 'economic vandalism', say miners

 

 

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