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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12614

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongMinister for Financial Services and Superannuation and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) (19:08): I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and seek leave to move government amendments (1) and (2) as circulated together.

Leave granted.

Mr SHORTEN: I move government amendments (1) and (2):

(1) Clause 12, page 13 (lines 14 to 16), omit "employ the person on the terms and conditions of that employment beyond the time that employment actually ended", substitute "meet the employer's obligations under the terms and conditions of that employment for the actual duration and end of that employment".

(2) Clause 25, page 21 (lines 3 to 5), omit "continue to employ the person on those more favourable terms and conditions beyond the time of the actual end of the person's employment", substitute "meet the employer's obligations under those more favourable terms and conditions for the actual duration and end of the person's employment".

Two minor amendments have been drafted to clauses 12 and 25 of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Bill 2012. Clauses 12 and 25 of the bill refer to exclusions for changes in terms and conditions made in the six months before the insolvency event. The intent of these clauses is to enable favourable changes in conditions made within six months, such as a significant pay increase or improvement in redundancy entitlements or change from contractor to employee, to be disregarded where, having regard to the financial position of the employer, it was not reasonable to expect the employer could have adequately provided for those conditions. The amendments will clarify that, as intended, the rules in clauses 12 and 25 may be applied if the delegate is satisfied it was reasonable to expect that the employer could not meets its obligations at the end of employment as well as during the employment.

These proposed changes continue the existing arrangements under the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme, known as GEERS, and provide increased assurance that employers will not seek to take advantage of the scheme of assistance by making favourable changes to boost entitlements, in the full knowledge that they are about to make the staff redundant.

Question agreed to.