GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS PLAN TO ATTACK JOB SECURITY

TONY BURKE MP.
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2 months ago
GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS PLAN TO ATTACK JOB SECURITY
TONY BURKE MP
The Morrison Government has confirmed it plans to use the coronavirus pandemic as cover for an extreme attack on the rights and job security of millions of Australian workers.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced today the Government intends to give businesses sweeping powers to stand down workers, slash their hours and pay, vary their duties and rip away their job security – even if a business is not experiencing a downturn.
 
Mr Frydenberg said these powers – currently tied to JobKeeper – “should be continued not just for those firms that meet the re-applied eligibility test but should apply to those firms who are on JobKeeper right now. 960,000 firms are on JobKeeper right now and they should be able to maintain that IR flexibility going forward.”

Employers were given these emergency powers at the height of the pandemic if they were experiencing a major downturn of more than 30 per cent – enough to access JobKeeper.

Now the Government is saying that even if a business has recovered they should get to keep the emergency powers indefinitely.

The Government has not made the case for this change. Why should a firm that has bounced back have the power to slash their workers’ hours, pay and job security at a moment’s notice?

These are the same businesses and workers that the Government decided this week it no longer needed to support. If they don’t need support why do they need emergency powers?

If the Government goes ahead with what Josh Frydenberg announced today an employer that is doing even better than it was before the pandemic – maybe because their competitors have gone under – would be still able to do things like slash their workers’ hours from full-time to part-time without warning and without negotiation.
 
Australia’s recovery will depend on domestic demand, and people won’t spend if they fear their pay could be cut at any moment.

This is exactly what Labor warned about. The Government is using the pandemic as an excuse to bring in extreme changes that will leave workers permanently worse off.

If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that workers need more job security, not less. These changes would be a hammer blow for job security.

Labor will not give the Morrison Government a blank cheque to attack the rights and job security of Australian workers.
Employment