WorkChoices changes 'an admission entitlements were cut', says Della Bosca

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WorkChoices changes 'an admission entitlements were cut', says Della Bosca

The Federal Government's changes to the leave provisions under WorkChoices are an admission that the new IR regime has lowered entitlements, the NSW Parliament has been told.

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The Federal Government's changes to the leave provisions under WorkChoices are an admission that the new IR regime has lowered entitlements, the NSW Parliament has been told.

However the NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, said the changes would only protect the entitlements of existing workers, and new workers would be worse off.

The Federal Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews announced the changes to the WorkChoices regulations last week. They include the fact that sick leave and compassionate leave should be paid out on the entitlements applying when they were accrued, not when they are taken.

'Employers are now legally required to pay existing workers the higher entitlements that applied immediately before the WorkChoices Act came into operation,' Della Bosca said.

Don't cover new employees

'This is an acceptance that WorkChoices has lowered entitlements. But the changes will apply only to sick leave and carer leave, and will not cover new employees entering the work force.'

Della Bosca said this was an 'open admission' that the WorkChoices changes 'are designed to cut the working and family leave conditions of Australian families'.

'The changes also reflect the fact that there are unethical employers who have already taken advantage of these changes at the expense of worker entitlements, namely, sick leave and annual leave,' he said. 'No amount of window-dressing can disguise that WorkChoices has removed many hard-won working conditions of Australian families.

'Under WorkChoices a base rate of pay is not protected, Saturday penalty rates are not protected, Sunday penalty rates are not protected, public holiday penalty rates are not protected, overtime is not protected, and rest breaks, annual leave loading and roster protections are not protected.'

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