Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt will introduce a private members bill on Monday designed to help the millions of Australians impacted by insecure working arrangements.
The Fair Work Amendment (Tackling Job Insecurity) Bill 2012 will implement a number of recommendations of the landmark ‘Lives on Hold' report, conducted by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Brian Howe, released by the ACTU in May.
The Bill amends the Fair Work Act to provide a process for workers employed on an ‘insecure' basis to be moved to ongoing employment on a part-time or full-time basis.
Releasing the bill in Melbourne today, Mr Bandt said, "A growing number of Australian workers find themselves in "insecure" employment, such as long-term casual employment or rolling contracts."
"Too many Australian workers have little economic security and little control over their working lives. This makes it harder for them to plan their lives or commit to long term arrangements like getting a mortgage.
"This is a particular problem for women, who are more likely to find themselves in insecure employment.
"The rates of temporary work in Australia are staggering with around a quarter of employees having no paid leave entitlements. Spain is the only country in the OECD with a higher rate of temporary work than Australia.
Mr Bandt welcomed the ACTU's announcement of a summit on insecure work and said he looked forward to working with unions and employers on the issue.
Fair Work Amendment (Tackling Job Insecurity) Bill 2012
The Bill amends the Fair Work Act to provide a process for workers employed on an ‘insecure' basis to be moved 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 (ie. ongoing part-time or full-time). If an employer refuses a request for ongoing employment then an application can be made to Fair Work Australia who can issue a ‘secure employment order'. Fair Work Australia must consider the needs of employees to have secure jobs and stable employment, and the genuine needs of business to use arrangements that are not secure employment arrangements.
Fair Work Australia may also make orders to maintain existing secure employment arrangements. The right of small businesses to use genuine casual employees will be preserved, with such employees excluded from the operation of the bill.
Unions and employer groups may also apply directly to FWA for secure employment orders on behalf of:
· Eligible persons who have had a request refused; and
· Classes of eligible persons (such as a particular industry, kind of work, type of employment or employer).