IR reform will avoid project blowouts

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 10-Jun-21

The federal government has received support from the resources sector for its plans to put greenfield workplace agreements back on the industrial relations agenda. The Australian Resources & Energy Group says protected and unprotected industrial action have contributed to significant cost blowouts at number of major resources projects in recent years. Greenfield agreements would cover the entire construction phase of a project. Such agreements were included in the omnibus industrial relations bill that was rejected by the Senate earlier in 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES AND ENERGY GROUP

Labor, unions to fight Morrison on IR push

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 9-Jun-21

The Australian Workers’ Union will oppose any renewed attempt by the federal government to introduce greenfield workplace agreements. Such agreements were included in the omnibus industrial relations bill that was rejected by the Senate earlier in 2021. AWU national secretary Daniel Walton contends that major projects have been approved without greenfield agreements being in place, and the government’s proposal would merely put downward pressure on wages. Shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke has also accused the government of pushing for wage growth restraint.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

NAB faces legal hit over pay shortfall

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 26-May-21

National Australia Bank included a pre-tax provision of $128m for wage underpayments in its financial accounts for the second half of 2020. NAB’s remediation program has resulted in current and former part-time employees receiving a combined $55m in compensation to date. However, the Finance Sector Union believes that NAB’s wages underpayment bill may be much higher, given that many of the affected employees work full-time. The union is preparing to take Federal Court action on behalf of NAB’s full-time workers.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, FINANCE SECTOR UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Deloitte reveals extent of workplace complaints

Original article by Edmund Tadros, Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Apr-21

Professional services firm Deloitte has disclosed that it has investigated about 15 workplace complaints annually over the last three years. The firm’s voluntary disclosure follows recent media reports which revealed that rival firm KPMG received nearly 100 workplace complaints between 2014 and March 2019, an average of about 17 per year. The majority of these complaints were allegations of bullying or sexual harassment. Workplace experts agree that the number of complaints lodged at KPMG does not reflect the true extent of the problem.

CORPORATES
DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Wage freeze needed due to vaccine delays

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Apr-21

The Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has urged the Fair Work Commission to take into account the delay in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines when deciding whether to increase the minimum wage. The RCIA contends that the minimum wage should either be left at its current level in 2021-22 or any increase for workers in hard-hit industries should be delayed until February 2022. ACTU secretary Sally McManus argues that a minimum wage freeze would result in a pay cut in real terms for one in five workers at a time when domestic spending is essential to Australia’s economic recovery.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

ALP’s return to olden days of IR

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 7 : 3-Apr-21

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn says Labor’s proposed industrial relations policy would "seriously undermine" the nation’s economic recovery. Amongst other things, Labor intends to abolish the Australian Building & Construction Commission and scrap the government’s building code if it wins the next federal election. Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash notes that the ABCC has recovered more than $2.7m in wages and entitlements for some 4,200 employees since it was reinstated in 2016, while it has secured $12.7m in penalties for breaches of workplace laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EDUCATION, SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT

Gig workers, truckie safety, industrial deaths on Labor’s agenda

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 1-Apr-21

Delegates at Labor’s two-day national conference have backed key measures in the party’s industrial relations platform, including minimum entitlements for workers in the gig economy and the introduction of national industrial manslaughter laws. Labor will also abolish the Australian Building & Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission if it wins the next federal election, and scrap the government’s building code and union demerge laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION

Office staff get to keep pandemic flex time

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 24-Dec-20

The Fair Work Commission has extended flexible working arrangements for employees who are covered by the clerks award until the end of June 2021. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours earlier in 2020, in response to the coronavirus. The FWC has also introduced additional flexibilities with regard to the hours of work for clerical staff while working from home.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Union calls for minimum wage for fruit pickers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 16-Dec-20

The Australian Workers’ Union will push for changes to the Horticulture Award to address the issue of wage exploitation in the sector. The ASU has applied to the Fair Work Commission to vary the industry award to include a wage floor for seasonal farm workers. The union’s proposal would provide a guaranteed minimum wage of $24.80 an hour, although piece rates would still be allowed. A recent investigation found that some fruit-pickers in the in the Coffs Harbour region of New South Wales were being paid just $3 an hour.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Union takes Tax Office bosses to Federal Court in work from home row

Original article by Noel Towell
The Age – Page: Online : 9-Dec-20

The Australian Services Union has commenced legal action against senior executives at the Australian Taxation Office. The ASU alleges that the executives – including Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan – were in breach of workplace laws and the ATO’s enterprise agreement, which includes working at home provisions. The union claims that ATO staff who had been working from home due to the pandemic were ordered to return to their offices without the required notice period when the federal government announced stimulus measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE