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Youth employment and junior rates



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i l J Jj, AUSTRALIA,.J.

\ : THE HON PETER REITH MP MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600

25 August 1999 101/99

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND JUNIOR RATES - AMENDMENTS

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

The Commonwealth Government has agreed a series o f amendments with the Opposition to its Bill relating to junior wages and youth employment in order to secure its passage through the parliament.

These amendments maintain the policy objectives of the Government’s Bill which were to:

(a) Permanently exempt junior rates from anti age discrimination laws; (b) Introduce (for the first time) new objects into the workplace relations system dealing specifically with youth employment and youth unemployment; (c) Enable junior rates to be included by the AIRC in awards and industries where they do

not currently apply, including during the award simplification process.

The main details o f the amendments are as follows:

(a) The permanent exemption applies not only to junior rates, but also to traineeships and apprenticeships (as defined); (b) All of the new objects sought by the government are included, and with two additional objects “youth skills and community standards”;

(c) Where an award governs work that is or may be performed by young people, the AIRC can decide on a case by case basis and where appropriate to include junior rates. Where applications for the insertion, variation or removal of junior rates are made to the AIRC the onus is on the applicant to establish their case.

Government Bill - Objects of the Act A new object dealing specifically with youth employment

(aa) protecting the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, promoting youth employment and assisting in reducing youth unemployment;

Amended Government Bill

(aa) protecting the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, promoting youth employment, youth skills and community standards and assisting in reducing youth unemployment;

Government Bill - Removal of 22 June 2000 date affecting awards and agreements

Amended Government Bill

Clauses removed Clauses removed

Government Bill - AIRC Dispute Settlement Objects Amended Government Bill A new object in the AIRC dispute resolution functions.

(d) the Commission’s functions and powers in relation to making and varying awards are performed and exercised in a way that:

(d) the Commission’s functions and powers in relation to making and varying awards are performed and exercised in a way that:

(ii) protects the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, promotes youth employment and assists in reducing youth unemployment.

(ii) uses a case-by-case approach to protect the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, to promote youth employment, youth skills and community standards and to assist in reducing youth unemployment.

Government Bill - AIRC functions Amended Government Bill New considerations the AIRC must take into account in performing its functions

(ba) the need to protect the competitive position of young people in the labour market, to promote youth employment and to assist in reducing youth

unemployment, through appropriate junior wage provisions;

(ba) the need, using a case-by-case approach, to protect the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, to promote youth employment,

youth skills and community standards and to assist in reducing youth unemployment, through appropriate wage provisions, including, where appropriate, junior wage provisions;

V

G overnm ent Bill - C ontent of AIRC A w ards Amended G overnm ent Bill Matters which the AIRC must ensure its decisions contain

(ea) if it applies to work that is or may be performed by young people - supports youth employment by including, where appropriate, junior rates o f pay;

(ea) if it applies to work that is or may be performed by young people - protects the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, promotes youth employment, youth skills and community standards and assists in reducing youth unemployment by including, if, on a case-by-case basis, the Commission determines it appropriate, junior rates o f pay;

G overnm ent Bill - AIRC procedures Amended G overnm ent Bill No specific provision A specific provision about the onus o f

proof in case-by-case applications

(3A) The Commission may on application by an organisation or person bound by an award, vary the award by: (a) including a junior rate o f pay in the

award; or (b) (b) varying a junior rate o f pay in the award; or (c) removing a junior rate o f pay in the

award. ' ~

(3B) In any application of the kind referred to in subsection (3) or (3A), the onus o f demonstrating that the award should be varied as set out in the

application rests with the applicant.

G overnm ent Bill — Traineeships and A pprenticeships Amended G overnm ent Bill No specific provision A specific provision exempting

traineeships and apprenticeships (as defined) from anti age discrimination provisions

G overnm ent Bill - A w ard Sim plification

Amended G overnm ent Bill

AIRC functions during award simplification

(ea) if it applies to work that is or may be performed by young people - supports youth employment by including, where appropriate, junior rates o f pay;

(ea) if it applies to work that is or may be performed by young people --protects the competitive position o f young people in the labour market, promotes youth employment, youth skills and community standards and assists in reducing youth unemployment by including, if, on a case-by-case basis, the Commission determines it appropriate, junior rates of pay;

For further information contact: Ian Hanke 0419 484 095