Employer warning on wage reforms

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 2-Mar-20

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has criticised a proposal to allow workers to trade off penalty rates in return for higher basic wages. Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross has raised the prospect of extending ‘loaded rates’ in enterprise agreements to workers who are covered by industry awards. Employers’ groups have expressed support for the proposal, but some warn that it will not succeed if the FWC continues to adopt a ‘technical approach’ to approving enterprise agreements.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Unions push for jail terms for wage theft

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

The ACTU has urged the federal government to introduce harsher penalties for employers who underpay their staff. Its submission to the government’s compliance discussion paper advocates a maximum jail term of five years or a fine of up to $2m for individuals and $10m for a company. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has in turn expressed concern about imposing criminal penalties for breaches of workplace laws. It has argued that such penalties should also apply to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Call to freeze wages for low-paid

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 14-Mar-19

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Juliana Payne has warned that the ACTU’s push to increase the minimum wage to 60 per cent of median earnings will result in job cuts. She says there should be no increase in the minimum wage in 2019 due to the above-inflation increases of recent years, and notes that the sector cannot pass on the cost of wage rises to customers. Meanwhile, the Australian Retailers ­Association supports a 1.8 per cent increase in the minimum wage, although a survey has found that about 50 per cent of its members favour leaving it unchanged in 2019.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Shorten talks up living wage bid

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 7-Mar-19

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has warned that a significant increase in minimum wage would result in job losses, a reduction in hours of work for many people and business failures. He was responding to comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who has told a business summit that the minimum wage is too low and is no longer a living wage. ACTU secretary Sally McManus has again reiterated the need for a living wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Permaflexi plan a ruse to reduce pay, unions war

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 12 : 1-Mar-19

Health Services Union secretary Lloyd Williams has criticised a push by employers for the Fair Work Commission to recognise a new category of employment. So-called ‘permaflexi’ workers would be paid a 10 per cent loading in exchange for flexible rostering, while they would also receive sick leave and annual leave entitlements. The NSW Business Chamber’s application states that workers who are hired under a "flexible ongoing employment" arrangement would have a minimum of 1-3 hours’ work per week.

CORPORATES
HEALTH SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

BCA has had a gutful of politics

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 28-Feb-19

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has urged both sides of federal politics to cease their attacks on the business sector and focus on policies to stimulate the economy and wages. She is particularly critical of the government’s proposal to force energy companies to divest assets if they fail to reduce electricity prices, arguing that it will deter investment in Australia and will doing little to provide price relief. Westacott has also criticised Labor’s proposed banking industry reforms in response to the Hayne royal commission.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

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

Westacott pleads for Hawke-era ACTU mindset

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 1-Nov-18

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has rejected the ACTU’s push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. She says it is unworkable and would disadvantage people in regional areas and unskilled workers. Westacott argues that the nation needs a modern industrial relations system that is based on enterprise or workplace-level bargaining, and underpinned by a universal safety net. However, she has invited the ACTU’s leadership to work with business to ensure that the IR system is appropriate for a modern work environment.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Business to go it alone on climate

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: W1 & W2 : 11-Oct-18

The Business Council of Australia’s energy and climate change committee has considered a proposal for energy companies and heavy industry to pursue carbon reduction measures independently of the federal government. The companies that comprise the committee were largely supportive of the national energy guarantee. However, the government’s focus under Prime Minister Scott Morrison has shifted from cutting carbon emissions to ensuring a reliable energy supply and reducing electricity prices.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Business lists IR demands for O’Dwyer

Original article by Dana McCauley, Nick Toscano
The Age – Page: 5 : 30-Aug-18

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the passage of three key workplace relations bills through Parliament should be a priority for incoming Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer. The federal government shelved its Ensuring Integrity Bill earlier in 2018, while the Proper Use of Worker Benefits Bill remains stalled in the upper house and Labor has blocked a bill to scrap four-yearly reviews of industrial awards. Willox has also urged O’Dwyer to intervene in a court case regarding the employment status of casual workers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, WORKPAC PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, MONDELEZ AUSTRALIA (FOODS) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, BORAL LIMITED – ASX BLD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY