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Monday, 18 November 1996
Page: 5512


Senator MARGETTS(6.51 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

(18)   At the end of subsection 170VJ(1), add:

   , provided that if neither of the days specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) is later than 14 days after the day on which the AWA is filed, the AWA starts to operate on a day not less than 14 days after the day on which the AWA is filed, in order to provide both the employer and the employee with a cooling-off period during which either party may withdraw their agreement to the AWA.

(19)   After subsection 170VJ(1), insert:

   (1A)   Subsection (1) is not intended to prevent an employee commencing work during the cooling-off period.

Amendment 18 on revised sheet 217 replaces amendment 50 on sheet 183, and amendment 19 on revised sheet 217 replaces amendment 51. These amend clause 170VJ, the period of operation of Australian workplace agreements, to incorporate a cooling off period of 14 days at the commencement of a contract. It should be acknowledged that the signing of these contracts is one of the most important transactions that can be undertaken in a person's life. There should be the opportunity for some form of cooling off period before this contract, the AWA, takes effect. It does not mean that people cannot start work, but it is before the contract takes effect. I think for less important things, for small commercial transactions, there are cooling off periods. For more important transactions like working agreements I do not see why this should not be the case as well.

Amendments negatived.