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MacPhee calls for test cases on hourly rates of pay



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aSlPLIBERAL SHADOW THE HON IAN MACPHEE, MP MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ■

MACPHEE CALLS FOR TEST CASES ON HOURLY RATES OF PAY

The Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Mr Ian Macphee, today called on employers to apply to industrial tribunals for a new category of permanent part-time w o r k .

"The time is now right for those employers who see themselves as potential seven-day-a-week industries to apply to Federal and State tribunals for pro rata benefits for part-time employees," he said.

"The availability of sick leave, long service leave, superannuation and promotion opportunities to part time employees is long overdue.

"Such a move to hourly rates of pay would get around the problem of penalty rates, and overcome the absurd situation w h ere, at a time of over 10 per cent unemployment, some employees are now earning double or triple time rates within a standard 38 or 40 hour week.

"This would not mean removing penalties for overtime worked in excess of standard hours. -

"A move to hourly rates of pay is the most important step which we as a country can take to create more jobs.

"In the light of the statements by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Button, I would expect that the Government would intervene in such cases to support the application in the interest of increased employment, greater competitiveness, and reduced costs '

to the consumer.

"I regret the reflex reaction of some traditional trade unionists who are depicting such a move as erroding hard-won conditions. A move to'permanent part-time work would in fact extend certain benefits to employees w h o , for no good reason, are denied them at

present. It would not be erroding overtime penalties nor would it entail an attack on full-time employment, as it would suit most employers and employees to continue to rely on full-time w o r k .

"I believe that trade unions should support these applications, not only in the interests of their own part-time members, but in the interest of the many trade unionists who have b e e n , or are in danger of being disemployed.

"Most major changes are achieved through a perceived community of interest. I believe there is a real opportunity here for consensus between Federal Government, trade unions and employers. It is absolutely vital that this opportunity be pursued."

ADELAIDE, 26 OCTOBER 1983 ‘