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Beazley confused over his amendments.



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THE HON PETER REITH MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT WORKPLACE RELATIONS

AND SMALL BUSINESS

LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

11 October 1999

122/99

 

 

BEAZLEY CONFUSED OVER HIS AMENDMENTS

 

Kim Beazley is confused as t o how the amendments to the Workplace Relations Act he introduced today would operate.

 

Despite his role as a former Defence Minister he did not know whether Reservists would receive unpaid or paid leave under his amendments as the attached transcript reveals.

 

For further information contact: Ian Hanke on 0419 484 095.

 

 

THE HON PETER REITH MP

 

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE RELATIONS

AND SMALL BUSINESS

LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

EXTRACT OF RADIO INTERV IEW, 6PR, MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 1999

 

E&OE

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Would it work like this, that if you need, say, two weeks off, you get paid leave from your employer? Is that how it works?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

You'd get leave from your employer.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

You don't get paid leave?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

That would be paid by - the Army would give you pay while you're in there and so you've just got the right to leave there.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

OK. So it's unpaid leave, in other words?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Yes.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

It's paid because the Army pays you.

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Yes, that's right.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

But from the employer's point of view you're saying to your employer, "I need two weeks' unpaid leave because I'm going on exercises"?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Yes, that's right.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Nonetheless, I suppose you'll have those in industry saying well, it's all very well and good but I've got to get somebody else to replace that person while they're away and that's going to cost me dough.

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Yes, well, that's right. Sorry. Look, mate, I might have misled you there. It would be paid leave, in a sense, like your annual leave, that sort of thing.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

So it's paid leave?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Paid leave, yes.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

But that's double-dipping, isn't it?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Not particularly. They don't get paid huge amounts by the Defence Department.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

But they're still being paid by their employer, plus they're going to get money from the Defence Department.

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

That is correct but that's what the case has always been.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Well, I get back to the question then: Can you understand why employers even more so then would be upset because they say, "Well, all right, I'm losing employee X for two weeks and I've got to replace that person and pay someone accordingly"?

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Oh yes. And that's why it's important that it be incorporated in an award. You take a thing like that out of awards and it's very unlikely that people are actually going to be supportive of it.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

All right. Well, what chances do you - - -

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

Oh sorry, mate, I have misinformed you again. It is unpaid.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Oh, OK.

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

I've got a bloke in here who's sort of waved his hands all over the place and said that that was paid, so in fact as I originally thought, it is unpaid.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Right, OK. I think it would have been - - -

 

KIM BEAZLEY:

 

I thought I must have made a mistake when I initially mentioned it to you - the arm waving - but I hadn't made a mistake, it was unpaid.

 

INTERVIEWER:

 

Well, that's not so bad, because it would have been a case of double-dipping, but that's not the case so that's fine.

 

 

 

jy  1999-10-13  12:03