Bosses and unions unite to urge senator’s vote against seriously flawed super reform bill

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 7 : 7-Jun-21

The ACTU and the Australian Industry Group have joined forces to call for the ‘Your Super, Your Future’ legislation to be rejected by the Senate. They contend that the bill still has some major flaws; it recently passed the lower house following the removal of provisions which allow the federal government to veto investments made by superannuation funds that are not deemed to be in members’ best interests. Amongst other things, the ACTU and the Ai Group are concerned that the bill will result in people being stuck in underperforming super funds.

CORPORATES
ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

‘Ideology gone mad’: Silk slams super veto laws

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-21

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk has criticised key elements of the federal government’s proposed superannuation reforms. He is particularly concerned about provisions of the ‘Your Future, Your Super’ bill which allow the government to block an investment by a super fund, even if it is in members’ best financial interests. Silk says that amongst other things, this raises genuine concerns about sovereign risk. David Knox of consultancy firm Mercer in turn warns that subjecting super funds to performance tests will result in lower returns over the longer term, as trustees will be reluctant to invest in some asset classes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, MERCER INVESTMENTS PTY LTD

Crossbench on front foot over IR

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 17-Feb-21

The federal government will not proceed with legislation to allow coronavirus-hit employers to temporarily bypass the Fair Work Act’s ‘better off overall test’. The ACTU and Senate crossbenchers have welcomed the decision, but contend that further changes to the industrial relations omnibus bill are needed. Shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke says the government had only backed down because it would not get the proposed reform through the Senate. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the remaining changes in the omnibus bill will ‘reinvigorate’ the enterprise bargaining system.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Senior academics warn against IR bill

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 9-Feb-21

Professor Andrew Stewart from the University of Adelaide is among 23 labour law experts who have criticised key elements of the federal government’s omnibus industrial relations bill. Professor Stewart says a particular concern is the proposal to exempt some enterprise agreements from the ‘better-off-overall test’ for two years. The senior academics have also questioned the proposed definition of a casual worker. Professor Stewart stresses that the academics support some parts of the bill, such as increased penalties for wage theft.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

Fair Work president resists Porter IR plan

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 8-Feb-21

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has rejected criticism of the federal government’s proposal for the Fair Work Commission to approve enterprise agreements within 21 days. FWC president Iain Ross has argued that this requirement is unnecessary and could result in unintended consequences, such as giving approval to workplace agreements that are subsequently found to contain technical or substantive defects. Justice Ross also warns that more applications for enterprise agreements may be withdrawn or rejected under the proposed reforms. The Senate will begin an inquiry into the omnibus industrial relations bill on 8 February.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EDUCATION, SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Labor snubs job-saving IR reboot

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 14 : 9-Dec-20

Labor has advised that it will not support a key provision in the federal government’s industrial relations omnibus bill. The controversial reform would allow the Fair Work Commission to approve enterprise agreements that do not comply with the ‘better-off-overall test’ in the Fair Work Act. The FWC will be able to take into account factors such as the impact of COVID-19 in approving non-compliant agreements. ACTU secretary Sally McManus says the proposed reform is ‘diabolical’, although it has been welcomed by business groups

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Kelty approves of super-union divorce move

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Dec-20

The federal government’s hopes of getting the unions demerger bill through parliament before it rises for the year have been boosted after Labor signalled that it will not opposed the legislation. Former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty has expressed support for the legislation, and he contends that breaking up the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union would be quite easy as it is an ‘amalgamation of divisions’. However, Electrical Trades Union national secretary Allen Hicks says that despite targeting the CFMMEU, the legislation would have ‘unintended consequences’ for the entire union movement, and he has urged Labor to reject it.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION

Labor willing to engage on IR changes: Burke

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 27-Nov-20

Shadow employment minister Tony Burke says Labor is likely to pass the federal government’s industrial relations omnibus bill if the proposed reforms are based on those agreed upon by the Coalition’s working groups. However, Labor will refer the legislation to a Senate committee, which ensure that the bill is not debated and voted upon before Parliament rises for the year. The government has given indications that the reforms will include changes to the Fair Work Act’s ‘better-off-overall-test’, although reinstating the ‘no disadvantage test’ will be on its agenda.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

ALP cries JobTaker as wage subsidy gets over the line

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 12-Nov-20

The Senate has voted 30-28 to pass the federal government’s JobMaker bill without any amendments, after One Nation and Centre Alliance agreed to back the legislation. One Nation had previously indicated that it would support an amendment proposed by Labor that was designed to prevent employers from sacking existing staff and hiring younger workers in order to qualify for the subsidy. One Nation has rejected suggestions that it made a ‘side deal’ with the government.

CORPORATES
ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Labor looks to amend JobMaker subsidy over concerns older workers could be sacked

Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 9-Nov-20

Labor has yet to decide whether to support the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme, which will be debated in the Senate on 9 November. However, senior Labor sources have indicated that the Opposition will seek amendments to the draft legislation to ensure that employers cannot sack older staff and replace them with workers under the age of 35 in order to qualify for the subsidy. The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has called for labour hire firms to be excluded from the scheme, arguing that they could exploit loopholes in the draft legislation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING WORKERS’ UNION