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Minister confirms IR laws are unfair and unworkable.



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JULIA GILLARD M.P.

Deputy Labor Leader

Shadow Minister for Employment & Industrial Relations

MINISTER CONFIRMS IR LAWS ARE UNFAIR AND UNWORKABLE

Today the Minister for Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey was unable to explain the operation of his so-called Work Choices legislation, proves that the laws are complex, unfair and unworkable.

The Minister’s inability to answer these fundamental questions regarding the operation of his act is worrying.

It is worrying for parents whose working children are made to sign an unfair AWA.

It is worrying for business operators that the Minister doesn’t know how the Act operates in practice, when they themselves are struggling to understand the legislation.

The Minister was asked if the parents of a child under the age of 18 had access to an AWA information statement, if their child was given an AWA to sign.

Minister Hockey avoided the question, instead spouting statistics about youth unemployment.

The correct answer is that there is no mechanism in the legislation for the parent to obtain access to the AWA information statement, despite the parent being required by legislation to indicate their consent to their child entering into the AWA.

This means that parents required to consent to their child’s entry into an AWA, miss out on seeing important information, such as being able to appoint a bargaining agent in connection with an AWA.

The Minister was then asked about the guaranteed loading entitlement for a casual employee entering a workplace agreement, if the casual employee had an entitlement to a casual loading of 25% under the employee’s Australian Pay & Classification Scale.

Minister Hockey avoided the question, saying only that an employee could get more under a workplace agreement.

The correct answer to the question is that the legislation guarantees a casual loading of just 20% when the employee enters into a workplace agreement, regardless of what the employee was previously guaranteed under the employee’s Australian Pay & Classification Scale.

MEDIA CONTACT: KIMBERLEY GARDINER 0417 428 123 22 MARCH 2007 www.juliagillard.alp.org.au