Employers jump at shadows over new IR laws
Business groups mobilise against the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act, which came into force in June.
Employer groups have spent millions of dollars on a national advertising campaign against new IR laws that ensure labour hire workers are paid the same as employees doing the same job where they work.
The new laws are the implementation of a promise the ALP made in the lead-up to the 2022 federal election.
Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Burke, said he was surprised the advertising campaign “continued to rail against something we’re not doing”.
“The term ‘labour-hire loophole’ describes exactly what we’re doing: closing a loophole in which labour hire is deliberately being used to undercut agreed pay and conditions.”
New research by the ACTU has found that:
- about 600,000 workers, or 3.5 to 4.5 per cent of the workforce, are employed through labour hire
- about 81 per cent of labour-hire workers work full-time hours yet they do not have full-time jobs
- some 84 per cent of labour hire workers do not have paid leave and most have no guaranteed minimum hours.
ACTU president, Michele O’Neil, said some big businesses are using the loopholes to get out of paying proper wages and entitlements, such as sick leave and annual leave.
“Businesses are upset they have been exposed manipulating the system to cut wages,” she said.