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Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011

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2010-2011

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator N Xenophon)



 

Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011

 

Explanatory Memorandum

Senator Nick Xenophon

 

Background

 

The purpose of this bill is to protect the workplace conditions of foreign or overseas-based flight or cabin crew who are working on Australian-owned airlines or their subsidiaries.

 

Currently, Australian airlines can use overseas-based crew on international tagged flights (which often include domestic legs). These crew members are usually employed by third parties or the overseas subsidiaries of Australian airlines, and are employed under foreign contracts.

 

As a result, they are paid far less than their Australian counterparts, even though they are flying the same routes on the same planes.

 

There is also the issue of fatigue, as these foreign contracts do not include the same flight duty limitations that apply to Australian crew. This has resulted in overseas-based crew flying hours that are unacceptable for Australian-based crew employed under Australian working conditions.

 

This bill aims to ensure that overseas-based crew who are utilised by Australian airlines are not disadvantaged in comparison to their Australian co-workers.

 

1. Short Title

This clause is a formal provision and specifies the short title of bill, once enacted, as the Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Act 2011 .

 

2. Commencement

This clause provides for the commencement of sections 1 to 3 of the Act on the day this Act receives Royal Assent, and for the commencement of Schedules 1 and 2 on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

3. Schedules

This clause states that each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed according to the provisions of this Act, according to its terms.

 

4. Schedule 1

This Schedule amends the Air Navigation Act 1920 to place a new condition on international aviation licences held by Australian airlines or the subsidiaries or associated entities of Australian airlines, as defined by the Corporations Act 2001.

Section 16A applies to international licences held by Australian airlines. It states that a condition of the licence is that the licence holder must ensure that flight crew and cabin crew who are not directly employed by the licence holder and who are working in connection with an international flight operated by the airline, must receive wages and conditions that are no less favourable than they would have received if they were directly employed by the airline.

Section 16B applies to international licences held by subsidiaries or associated entities of an Australian airline, as defined by the Corporations Act 2001 . It states that a condition of the licence is that the licence holder must ensure that flight crew and cabin crew working in connection with an international flight operated by the licence holder to and/or from Australia receive wages and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than if they had been directly employed by the Australian airline in control of the subsidiary or associated entity.

These sections apply to both new and existing licences.

In these sections:

·          Australian international airline means an international airline that may be permitted to carry passengers or freight, or both passengers and freight, under a bilateral arrangement as an airline designated by Australia to operate a scheduled international air service;

·          Conditions of employment include flight and duty time limitations; and,

·          Australian airline means:

(a) an Australian operator within the meaning of subsection 22(7) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 ; or

(b) an airline, corporation or person prescribed by the regulations.

 

5. Schedule 2

This Schedule amends the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to place a new condition on all new and existing Air Operator's Certificates (AOCs).

Item 1 inserts a new section 28BJ, which states that it is a condition of an AOC that the holder of the AOC must ensure that any flight or cabin crew working in connection with the regular operations of the airline and who are not directly employed by the airline receive wages and conditions that are no less favourable than they would have been if the crew had been directly employed by the airline.

Item 2 inserts the words "Subject to section 28CA" into section 28C (1) to make the provisions of section 28CA a condition of a New Zealand AOC with ANZA privileges, which allow for mutual recognition of aviation certification between Australia and New Zealand as a result of the Closer Economic Agreement.

Item 3 inserts a new section 28CA, which applies to New Zealand AOCs with ANZA privileges, where the New Zealand AOC belongs to a subsidiary or associated entity of an Australian airline (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001) . This section states that ANZA privileges will not be granted by Australia unless the holder of the AOC ensures that all flight crew and cabin crew working in connection with the regular operations of the airline receive wages and conditions that are no less favourable than they would have received if they were directly employed by the Australian airline controlling the subsidiary or associated entity.

In these sections:

·          Conditions of employment include flight and duty time limitations

·          Australian airline means:

(a) an Australian operator within the meaning of subsection 22(7); or

(b) an airline, corporation or person prescribed by the regulations.