Govt report wants 7 IR changes

The Government senators on the committee have suggested seven amendments to the IR legislation, including protection for outworker provisions in state awards and greater protection of four weeks annual leave for full-time workers.

They also want assurance that full-time employees will always be paid for a 38-hour week.

But the committee’s chairwoman, Liberal Senator Judith Troeth says the bill should pass the Senate with or without the recommended changes.

The government-dominated committee reported with just one recommendation-that the Senate pass the legislation.

Labor senators have condemned the legislation saying the Government is taking an unneccessary risk with the economy.

The Democrats and Greens also argue against the bill.

They say it is based on ideology and is badly flawed.

The senators also say the averaging of hours provision in the bill should be examined to ensure that it does not result in unintended consequences.

Other proposals refer to prohibited content clauses in pre-reform agreements, the 90-day period of notice by an employer to terminate an agreement, guarantee of payment under averaging of hours provisions and trainee-apprenticeship provisions.

“We recommend that the government take consideration of those issues and look at them during the process of the debate in the Senate,” Senator Troeth said.

“I’m quite hopeful, after our discussions with the department (of Employment and Workplace Relations), that these issues will be looked at seriously, since no one could doubt the plight of outworkers,” Senator Troeth said.

The inquiry received more than 5,000 submissions, most of which were pro forma emails which Senator Troeth described as “largely spam, ACTU-type emails”.

The government’s majority report said the main objective of the bill, ensuring Australia’s future prosperity, was consistent with the intent of previous government policies.

It found the use of the constitution’s corporations power in the industrial arena was now largely uncontentious, because previous IR changes had relied on the same constitutional power.

Part of the bill aims to take over state IR systems in favour of a unitary national system.