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Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Page: 4961

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:57): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The Minister for Employment has all along called on parties to show each other respect and due consideration. Redundancy is a delicate issue. Even when a workforce anticipates that redundancies are likely, as it appears may have occurred in this case, it is still a difficult time for workers and their families when they are told that they are going to be made redundant. It is regrettable that the method of communicating with workers has not helped this already difficult situation. There is an enterprise agreement that applies at this workplace, and it includes consultation requirements and a dispute resolution clause. I urge all parties to comply with all requirements in the enterprise agreement. This issue has been referred to the independent umpire by both the employer and the union. It is incumbent on all parties to engage with the commission in working through the issues. It is not for industrial parties to pick and choose which of the independent umpire's decisions they will abide by. Such an approach only devalues the institution of the independent Fair Work Commission.