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First snapshot show fairness test is working.

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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service

05 September, 2007

Media Release

First snapshot shows fairness test is working

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Joe Hockey MP, has welcomed today’s release of the Workplace Authority statistics revealing the fairness test is working.

"These statistics provide strong evidence that people are not loosing protected award conditions, such as penalty rates, without proper compensation," Minister Hockey said.

"This Government is committed to better pay and conditions for working families and the fairness test is ensuring this happens."

"There is still a lot of work to do but I am very pleased the Workplace Authority is working closely with employees and employers to administer the stronger safety net for working Australians.

"This is the safety net the Labor party will abolish. Under the Labor party’s policy there will not be an independent third-party check on their individual contracts or on collective agreements. They will rely on the unions to be the sole arbiters of fairness.

"The Workplace Authority statistics also emphasise the importance of the Workplace Authority’s education role. Barbara Bennett and her team are doing an excellent job ensuring employers and employees know where they stand.

"They have also released a series of tools to help employers, including the online Agreement Builder and the policy guide to help make the agreement process as easy as possible. The pre-lodgement check is an additional helpful feature that wasn’t available under the old no-disadvantage test.

"Employers are on notice that if their agreements don’t pass the Fairness Test, they will need to change them or else they’ll cease to operate. They’ll also need to pay back any wages owing or the Workplace Ombudsman will take action.

"The Workplace Authority only commenced operations in July, very quickly quadrupled in size and has now had just over a month running at full pace. They have already achieved a great deal in this short period of time.

"Employees have more protections in place than ever before ensuring that penalty rates, over time and other protected conditions cannot just be taken away without fair compensation.

"The Labor party and unions continue to scare people and lie about penalty rates. They continue to criticise the Fairness Test and yet voted for it in Parliament. We can only expect that Julia Gillard will continue to do her best to smear the Workplace Authority and the Fairness Test.

"Our workplace laws are delivering more jobs, higher real wages and the Fairness Test ensures a fair go for all working Australians."

For further information contact: Emma Needham 0400 334 091

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