Unions bill rejected, retirement gap inquiry, more

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Unions bill rejected, retirement gap inquiry, more

The Senate has again rejected the government's Fair Work unions bill, following on from its defeat of the ABCC bill. Meanwhile, a parliamentary inquiry will examine the gender gap in retirement incomes and bathrooms in Parliament House will be “on the nose” this week.

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The Senate has again rejected the government's Fair Work unions bill, following on from its defeat of the ABCC bill. Meanwhile, a parliamentary inquiry will examine the gender gap in retirement incomes and bathrooms in Parliament House will be “on the nose” this week.

Senate rejects government’s Fair Work unions bill again 


The federal government’s bill to impose financial management requirements on unions and employer associations was narrowly defeated in the Senate last night. This was the second time the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 has been voted down, with cross bench senators combining with Labor and the Greens to narrowly defeat the government 34-33.

The bill would also have increased civil penalties and introduced criminal penalties on officers who breach their duties. The bill’s defeat hands the government a double-dissolution trigger, although it is unlikely to be pulled at this time.
 

Government committed to re-establishing ABCC


Despite the failure in the Senate yesterday of its bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC), the federal government intends to pursue its plans. 

“The government’s intention is to re-engage with the crossbench to seek support for the reintroduction of the ABCC bill,” Minister for Employment Senator Abetz said yesterday.
 

Parliamentary inquiry to examine gender gap in retirement incomes


The gender gap in super and retirement incomes will be examined by a parliamentary inquiry, with the support of all parties, It will focus on what causes the gap and the adequacy of super and retirement incomes for women.

The Economics References Committee has been asked to examine the following proposal:
“That –

(a) the Senate notes that, although women’s increasing workforce participation has contributed significantly to Australia’s economic productivity and to women’s financial independence, significant socio economic disparity remains between men and women, illustrated by the pay gap between men and women which sits at 18.8 per cent and the gap in superannuation at retirement is 46.6 per cent; and

(b) the gender retirement income gap be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in March 2016, with particular reference to:
 
(i) the impact inadequate superannuation savings has on the retirement outcomes for women,
(ii) the extent of the gender retirement income gap and causes of this gap, and its potential drivers including the gender pay gap and women’s caring responsibilities,
(iii) whether there are any structural impediments in the superannuation system [impacting on the superannuation savings gap],
(iv) the adequacy of the main sources of retirement income for women, and
(v) what measures would provide women with access to adequate and secure retirement incomes; including:
 
(A) assistance to employers to assist female employees’ superannuation savings,

(B) government assistance, with reference to the success of previous schemes, and

(C) any possible reforms to current laws relating to superannuation, social security payments, paid parental leave, discrimination, or any other relevant measure.”
 

Parliament House bathrooms getting dirty


Cleaners have banned the cleaning of all bathrooms and toilet facilities at Parliament House this week, as part of an industrial action campaign. The cleaners are seeking a pay increase of $1.80 per hour, which they say would bring their pay to the level they would have received if the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines had not been repealed by the government. 

Parliament House cleaners are employed by Limro Cleaning Pty Ltd. The company is contracted by the Department of Parliamentary Services to provide cleaning services at Parliament House.
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