New IR laws in Parliament tomorrow

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New IR laws in Parliament tomorrow

Labor’s new IR laws will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow and the Government expects to have them passed by the Senate in February next year.

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Labor’s new IR laws will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow and the Government expects to have them passed by the Senate in February next year.
 
IR Minister Julia Gillard said she expects the legislation to be through the House of Representatives, where the Government has the numbers, in the next two weeks.
 
It will then go to the Senate where ‘inevitably’ there will be a Senate Committee hearing on the Bill.
 
‘We will be asking the Senate to deal with that expeditiously and to deal with the legislation in February next year,’ Gillard told the ABC’s Insider program.
 
Will it start early?
 
Labor’s demand for an early passing of the legislation adds weight to speculation that more of the new IR laws will start before the announced date of 1 January 2010.
 
Already, the unfair dismissal and collective bargaining aspects are slated to come into operation on 1 July next year.
 
Whether the whole of Fair Work Australia would be ready to operate by then remains to be seen, but the Government has expedited the process by saying the whole of the current IR structure, including the AIRC and the Workplace Authority, would be moved across in bulk.
 
The Government needs the support of the Greens and both Independents to get legislation through the Senate.
 
Oppose unfair dismissal provisions
 
The Opposition is expected to oppose Labor’s new unfair dismissal provisions, which cut the exemption level from 100 employees down to 15, but impose a 12-month probation period for new employees of small employers (with six months for employees of businesses with more than 15 employees).
 
They are also expected to object to the new collective bargaining provisions, and the demand that employers bargain in ‘good faith’.
 
The Greens may attack the legislation from the opposite direction. They have been criticising Labor’s IR policies as ‘WorkChoices lite’ and can be expected to demand that AWAs be abolished altogether.
 
AWAs will go on
 
Labor is planning to allow AWAs to go on indefinitely where both sides are happy with them, bowing to a demand from the mining and resources sector.
 
Last week, unions delivered thousands of signed protest postcards to Gillard electoral office in Melbourne calling for the immediate abolition of WorkChoices, the scrapping of the ABCC and the introduction of ‘full, fair work laws’.
 
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