Right to arbitration ‘fundamental’ says shoppies union

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Right to arbitration ‘fundamental’ says shoppies union

The shop workers union says the right to arbitration is so fundamental that it must be guaranteed in the Fair Work Bill.

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The shop workers union says the right to arbitration is so fundamental that it must be guaranteed in the Fair Work Bill.
 
In its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the new IR legislation, the SDA urges the Senate to amend the Fair Work Bill and to provide an ‘unequivocal right for employees to be able to access arbitration where they have a dispute with their employer about a matter concerning the operation of the NES, an award or an enterprise agreement’.
 
Wider arbitration
 
Unions WA has also put in a submission calling for wider arbitration provisions in the legislation, but ACCI and other employer groups are totally opposed to any form of arbitration in the Bill.
 
Other key recommendations in the submission include:
  • There is no logical reason why the Bill should outlaw an employer paying any form of payment during any period of industrial action. In particular, the provisions of cl 474 which mandate a minimum four-hour withholding of pay for any form of unprotected industrial action is simply not warranted and is totally counter-productive to maintaining industrial harmony and peace in a workplace.
  • The legislation should provide for the mandatory disclosure of information by the employer, including sensitive and confidential information, but then require that the recipients of such information are absolutely prohibited from publishing, disclosing or disseminating such information outside the bargaining process.
  • The Better Off Overall (BOOT) test for new agreements should not be applied as a one-off static test at the time of an agreement being made, but should be an ongoing test that has to at least be met at regular intervals.
  • There should be a provision within the BOOT to ensure the test is applied to an employee on the basis of a reasonable period of employment, rather than at the fixed point of time being the test time.
  • For the purposes of the application of the BOOT, the test should be against the modern award as it will be at the end of the transition, rather than the BOOT being applied to the modern award as at the date of transition.
  • There needs to be a provision within the low-paid bargaining provisions, which would allow applications to be made that identify an employer by trading name, rather than identifying them strictly by their legal name, and then allowing Fair Work Australia (FWA) to assist in the process of determining the current legal identification of the employer to be named in the low-paid authorisation.
  • In making a low-paid workplace determination, FWA should be required to consider whether or not the making of the determination will promote an improvement in the terms and conditions of employment of employees.
  • Enable bargaining representatives to obtain a certificate from FWA so that the bargaining representatives can prove to the employer they are validly appointed without having to identify the employee who appointed them.
  • Unpaid Parental Leave should be available to women after six months of service or more. The SDA suggests such leave could be set at six months.

 

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