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  Issue No 99 Official Organ of LaborNet 15 June 2001  

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News

Redundancy Rules Promote Outsourcing


A loophole in redundancy laws is leaving employees of small business without redundancy protection and providing an incentive for employers to contract work out.

The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union has called for a review of the NSW Employment Protection Act in the wake of the One.Tel and HIH collapsed.

Under the Act, employers of less than 15 employees are exempt from having to pay redundancy pay to workers they retrench.

TCFUA state secretary Barry Tubner says the effect has been to make outsourcing and contracting out much more attractive. Tubner says the practice is now rampant in the industries he represents.

"In the clothing industry about 95 per cent of firms in SNW would engage less than 15 employees," he says. "That means that 95 per cent of employees are prima facie not entitled to severance pay in the event of redundancy."

"A principal contractor might contract out production to 20 or more contractors who would then in turn typically contract out production to one hundred or so makers.

"It would be very rare to find a single business in the clothing industry that would employ more than 15 workers - even though the principal may be engaging more than 100workers to make its product. And none would be entitled to redundancy."

Tubner says while the logic of protecting small businesses may have been sound when the exemption was passed in 1982, today's industry profile is much different.

The TCFUA has called for a review of the redundancy laws to ensure that workers in these type of circumstances still have access to redundancy benefits - both for the workers and to take away one of the incentives to contracting out.


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 99 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: In Defence of the Umpire
Australian Industry Group chief Bob Herbert on why the Industrial Relations Commission is worth fighting for.
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*  Unions: Diary of a Dude
One.Tel worker Warren Manners thought he had a dream job and no need for a union. That was until the money ran out.
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*  Legal: Dot.Com Casualties
The high profile collapse of One.Tel had significant implications for its employees. But what about its contractors?
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*  Industrial: The Shopfloor, United
Chris Christodoulou argues that without an active union membership, workplace democracy is just a pipe dream.
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*  International: A Saharawi Woman's Plea
Sydney unionist Stephanie Brennan travelled to Africa to witness first-hand the struggle for independence in West Sahara.
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*  History: Once Were Tuckpointers
Trawling through the files, Paul Howes stumbles upon some unions that represented workers long departed.
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*  Politics: Out Of The Comfort Zone
In his new book, Brett Evans argues that while Labor is honing its reform agenda, it is still struggling to reform itself.
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*  Satire: World Domination
The US has threatened not to pay the UN the money it doesn’t pay anyway.
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*  Review: Wiped Out
Bread and Roses is a new movie about the struggle of invisible office cleaners to gain dignity and respect at work. Pity you won’t see it here.
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News
»  Dudded Dudes Lead Union Fight Back
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»  Redundancy Rules Promote Outsourcing
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»  Workers Compo Bill Hovers
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»  Della’s Pay for View Awards
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»  Trades Hall Get Green Light
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»  Public Works Under the Gun
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»  Inner City School Closures
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»  TAB Computers Push Bigger Bets
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»  Shannon Plots Corporate Raid
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»  Stop CSR Militants Wrecking Economy
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»  NRMA Learns From the Big Boys
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»  Diggers’ Records to be Outsourced?
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»  Unions Back Religious Freedoms in Vietnam
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»  Blair's Britain - An Insider Speaks
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»  Workers Online 100th Issue Bash
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»  Activists' Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  The May Day Wash-Out Explained
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»  What's Wrong With Compo?
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