Unions warn huge chunk of casual workforce could miss out on coronavirus wage subsidy

Original article by Euan Black
The New Daily – Page: Online : 31-Mar-20

Full-time and part-time workers will be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy, as will casual workers who have been with the same employer for at least 12 months. However, ACTU secretary Sally McManus says the wage subsidy should be available to all casual workers, adding that it should be increased to $1,375 per week rather than $1,500 per fortnight. Gerard Dwyer, the national president of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association, also supports extending the payment to all casual workers, as well as visa workers.

CORPORATES
ACTU, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

FWC ruling a win for casual workers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 24-Jan-20

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has ruled that a casual sales assistant at Bed Bath N’ Table is entitled to pursue an unfair dismissal claim against the retailer. FWC deputy president Amanda Man­sini had previously ruled that the employee was not covered by unfair dismissal laws, as her employment was not regular and systematic. However, the full bench rejected Mansini’s reasoning and ruled that the case can proceed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, BED BATH AND TABLE

Unions call for more government assistance for workers in fire-hit areas

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Age – Page: Online : 8-Jan-20

The federal government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance provides people who have been directly affected by the bushfires to receive up to 13 weeks of income support. However, the United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons contends that this will be insufficient for many bushfire victims, adding that casual workers in particular will be hard hit by loss of income due to the fires. Retail & Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan notes that many casual workers are reluctant to stay at home despite feeling sick from smoke haze and heat from the bushfires.

CORPORATES
UNITED WORKERS UNION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Time for Adani to deliver on jobs

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Dec-19

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says Adani’s Carmichael coal mine has been approved, so the company should begin creating the jobs that it has promised. Adani in turn argues that it already employees hundreds of people. Albanese has also used his tour of regional Queensland to call for labour-hire workers in the mining sector to receive the same pay as direct employees, contending that some are paid up to 40 per cent less. He has also criticised the federal government for its lack of action regarding the low wages of labour-hire workers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION

Low rates to push older people into casual work

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 25 : 25-Sep-19

Record low interest rates are having a direct impact on the Australian labour market, by forcing older people to delay retirement and remain in full-time work for longer than they had intended. This is in turn reducing the employment opportunities for younger Australians, forcing many of them to take up casual roles or jobs in the ‘gig’ economy. Economist Callam Pickering notes that the proportion of younger workers who are underemployed has increased from about 11 per cent in 2008 to nearly 18 per cent. The trend for older people to continue working full-time is also dampening wages growth, as their priority is continuity of income rather than pay rises.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Labor’s double-dipping motion fails

Original article by Adam Zuchetti
mybusiness.com.au – Page: Online : 17-Sep-19

The Senate has defeated a disallowance motion moved by Labor against the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018. The regulations were introduced by the federal government to prevent casual employees ‘double-dipping’ on annual leave and other entitlements, and were adopted in the wake of the WorkPac decision. The motion, which was put by Labor Senator Don Farrell, was defeated by 33 votes to 29 on 16 September. The motion’s defeat was welcomed by Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson, with Pearson saying he was thankful common sense had prevailed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, WORKPAC PTY LTD

Union push to increase casual pay in hospitality sector

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-Jul-19

United Voice wants the Fair Work Commission to rule that casual employees in the hospitality industry are entitled to a 25 per cent loading in addition to overtime penalty rates. NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright argues that employers cannot afford such a cost increase. He adds that while the Chamber agrees that casuals should be paid overtime at the same rate as permanent employees. However, it is of the view that as casual loading is meant to compensate for lack of employee entitlements such as annual leave, it should not apply during overtime as permanent employees do not accrue such entitlements while doing overtime work.

CORPORATES
UNITED VOICE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

ALP vow: permanent work for casuals

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-19

Labor has doubled down on the Coalition’s commitment to legislate to allow casual workers to apply to become permanent employees after 12 months of regular and ongoing work with the same employer. Labor will also amend the Fair Work Act to allow such workers to legally challenge a refusal of their request to become a permanent employee. More than 50 per cent of Australia’s 2.6 million casual employees have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Industry pushback on casuals’ double dip

Original article by Anna Patty
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 15 : 25-Feb-19

Labor is seeking to disallow a regulation that aims to protect companies from so-called "double dipping" of entitlements by casual workers. The Australian Industry Group (AI Group) contends Victoria and New South Wales could face claims of over $3.5 billion from casual workers seeking to "double dip". Both the AI Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry have called on crossbench senators to oppose Labor’s move to disallow the regulation, but employment law professor Andrew Stewart notes the regulation does nothing to change existing laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, WORKPAC PTY LTD

Small business faces $8bn holiday pay hit

Original article by Dennis Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Feb-19

Labor’s motion to disallow the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations is expected to be debated by the Senate on 2 April. The Coalition moved to clarify the status of casual workers via regulation in late 2018 in response to the WorkPac case, in which the Federal Court ruled that casual workers are entitled to annual leave in addition to a casual loading. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has urged parliament to reject the disallowance motion, warning that it would threaten the viability of many small businesses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WORKPAC PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, ACTU, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA