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Kevin Andrews is casual with the truth.



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FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WORKPLACE RELATIONS

7 June 2004

KEVIN ANDREWS IS CASUAL WITH THE TRUTH

Today’s statements by the Minister for Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, about casual employment continue the litany of Liberal lies.

Mr Andrews says that: “Labor plans to force employers to pay casuals’ holiday pay, sick pay and redundancy pay. Businesses cannot afford to pay these entitlements on top of existing loadings.”

Yet Labor’s casual policy document, available at www.alp.org.au since April 2004, states that: “Labor’s plan WILL NOT add paid annual or sick leave to casual loadings.”

I have made this clear on numerous occasions in the parliament and in media statements.

Mr Andrews also asserts that it is a “myth that casual employees were dissatisfied with casual work and would rather be permanent.”

The parliamentary library study reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald concludes that: “This analysis lends weight to the argument that casual employment is not the preferred option for many workers …”

The truth is that casual employment is the preferred option of the Howard Government, since it denies working Australians any job security.

The Liberals mouth the rhetoric of choice but deny casuals a choice to request permanent work. Labor provides real choice for casuals. Those casuals who prefer to remain casuals are free to do so under Labor’s policy.

But the doozey of them all is Kevin Andrews’ claim that 90.4 per cent of all jobs created in the last year were full time. You know, Mr Andrews, that the ABS definition of full-time employment includes both casual and permanent full-time employees.

The most recent ABS survey of casual employment, released in March this year, reports that almost 45 per cent of all new jobs created between August 2002 and August 2003 were casual.

Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386 or Nada Delavec 0419 584 241