Greens employment spokesperson Adam Bandt has given principle support to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) call to ‘change the rules’ to protect working people from insecure work, stagnant wages and the erosion of fundamental rights.
Mr Bandt has introduced key legislation into the House of Representatives, the Fair Work Amendment (Tackling Job Insecurity) Bill 2018 and the Fair Work Amendment (Better Work/Life Balance) Bill 2018, which will tackle rising job insecurity by giving casual and rolling contract workers the power to convert to secure employment and give working people an enforceable right to more flexible working arrangements, respectively.
The Fair Work Amendment (Tackling Job Insecurity) Bill 2018 amends the Fair Work Act 2009 to provide for a process for ‘insecure’ workers to move to ongoing employment on a part-time or full-time basis.
An employee who is a casual or rolling contract employee can ask their employer to move to secure employment. An eligible employee or their union must make a secure employment arrangement with their employer in writing. The employer must give the employee or their union a written response to the request within 21 days. If the employer refuses the request, the written response must include the reason for the refusal.
If an employer refuses a request for ongoing employment an application can be made to Fair Work Commission to issue a ‘secure employment order’ to provide or maintain secure employment arrangements. This application can be made by an eligible individual, a union or other defined bodies on their behalf.
“I am thrilled that the union movement is making job insecurity a priority and they have the Greens’ support,” Mr Bandt said.