Qld WorkChoices help line flooded with calls

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Qld WorkChoices help line flooded with calls

An estimated 18,000 calls have been taken on the Fair Go Queensland Advisory Service and Wageline in its first year, according to the State Government.

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An estimated 18,000 calls have been taken on the Fair Go Queensland Advisory Service and Wageline in its first year, according to the State Government.

IR Minister, John Mickel, said employees had experienced unfair dismissal, reduced work conditions, and been coerced into individual agreements, while employers had complained of the lack of information about WorkChoices.

He said nearly 240 callers have been helped after revealing they were dismissed or had their employment conditions downgraded.  Almost 90% were dismissed outright and the rest pressured into resigning or coerced into an Australian Workplace Agreement.

'The worst part of all this is that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg,' Mickel said. 'Many people were too scared to give their name and contact details, especially those from the country where callers said they could be targeted for dismissal and find it difficult to secure another job in the area.'

Mickel also refuted the Federal Government's claim that WorkChoices was responsible for the surge in employment over the past 12 months.

'Increased employment growth is confined to Queensland and Western Australia - both States riding the resources boom,' he said. 'Employment growth in Victoria, which is entirely under the Federal system, is unchanged.

'And those sectors with a high proportion of employment in small to medium sized businesses have not performed any better than those dominated by large businesses.'

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