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ECONOMICS REFERENCES COMMITTEE--PROPOSED REFERENCE

Senator Spindler, pursuant to notice, moved--That the following matters

be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report

on or before 30 January 1996--

(1) The extent to which "outworking' or other subcontracting methods

are used in the Australian garment industry.

(2) The extent to which garment industry practices or contract

provisions related to delivery times, quality standards,

piecework rates and related matters, impose working conditions

on outworkers and their families which do not meet standards of

fairness and equity which the community expects to prevail in

the labour market, with particular reference to:

(a) the adequacy of piecework rates of pay and, in particular,

whether these rates adequately cover:

(i) minimum award rates of pay, and

(ii) holiday and other conditions and entitlements;

(b) the delivery times required for particular orders;

(c) the effect on the work-safety and the well-being generally

of outworkers and their families;

(d) the proportion of labour costs contained in the firms'

finished articles at wholesale and retail level, compared

with on-site manufacturing costs;

(e) the extent to which the current system promotes the

employment of children under 15, the conditions under which

they are employed, and the effect on their school attendance

and general well-being;

(f) the extent to which the current system brings about abuses

of social security and taxation laws; and

(g) any other matter which in the opinion of the committee is

relevant to the issues listed above.

(3) Steps which could be taken to address any deficiencies

identified in paragraph (2), in particular, the conditions which

prevent outworkers accessing standards of fairness and equity in

the labour market and the action which needs to be taken to

address contracting policies and procedures between principal

companies, retailers and subcontractors.

(4) Implications for government adoption of relevant International

Labour Organisation conventions and recommendations on

outworking, once these are finalised.

Debate ensued.

On the motion of the Minister for the Environment, Sport and

Territories(Senator Faulkner) the debate was adjourned.

Senator Faulkner moved--That the resumption of the debate be an order of

the day for 31 August 1995.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.