|Issue No 12||07 May 1999|
Shaw Unveils Second Wave
NSW Industrial Relations Minister Jeff Shaw has unveiled his plans for industrial relations reform including freeloader legislation, new controls for labour hire companies and rights for unions to be a party to non-union agreements.
Details of proposals amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 1996 were circulated to members of the Industrial Relations Consultative Committee this week. The IRCC includes trade union and employer reps.
- Introducing agency fees to be levied on non-union members where a trade union negotiates a pay rise. This would involve a provision in the enterprise agreement to this effect, which would need to be voted on by a majority of workers affected. The IRAct would need to be changed to explicitly allow such a provision.
- Forcing labour hire companies to pay employees the same rates and conditions as those of the host company. This would mean that labour hire companies would not be able to pay its workers at a lower rate than provided in the enterprise agreement covering the workplace they are placed in.
- Reversing the onus of proof in victimisation cases to rest on the employer or industrial organisation who is alleged to have breached the provisions.
- Strengthening protections for injured workers against dismissal to the full period they receive accident pay. This plugs a gap left by the federal award-stripping process.
- Increased responsibilities on principal contractors for the actions of sub-contractors. It is also proposed to give the IRC the power to set minimum rates for industrial contractors, to target the problem of "sham" contracting to avoid employer obligations.
- Allowing unions to be a party to non-union enterprise agreements, with the union with coverage having the right to appear at the Commission proceedings to approve the agreement.
- Giving union officials the right to enter residential premises, to assist with the policing of outworkers.
Following the IRCC consultation process, Shaw is expected to introduce the amendments into the upcoming session of Parliament.
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