All of us should have access to meaningful, secure work so we don’t struggle to make ends meet and we have the freedom to do more of the things we love. And while most of us have to work to live, we should never be living just to work.
Employment in Australia is changing rapidly. Some of us are stuck working too many hours, while many of us can’t find enough work. Jobs are less secure, wages are flatlining and small businesses are getting squeezed by big business and their mates in the government.
We live in a wealthy country where advances in technology could be making everyone’s lives better, but instead, economic inequality is the highest it has been for 70 years in Australia.
We know an increase in automated technology will have a huge impact on many industries and we need to start planning for it now, creating the jobs of the future, so no one is left behind.
But the major parties are doing the bidding of their big corporate donors instead of planning for the rest of us. The Labor and the Liberal parties have taken over $100 million from big corporates since 2012, and both major parties have sided with those corporations to cut award conditions, keep wages down, restrict our ability to protect our rights at work and ignore small business.
The Greens have a plan to educate, up-skill and protect people as our industries change.
We will protect workers’ rights, support small business and the industries of the future, create jobs, close the gender pay gap and plan for the future of work.
Our plan for the future of work:
Increase wages and protect workers' rights by rewriting our workplace laws · More »
A Future of Work Commission to plan for the future · More »
Invest in science, research and innovation · More »
Close the gender wage gap and better support working parents · More »
Grow the creative economy and support the contribution art and artists make to our society · More »
Support more than 2 million small businesses across Australia with a comprehensive plan to level the playing field · More »
Our plan for the future of work
Fighting for your rights at work
For many people work is insecure, unfulfilling and low paid. Despite decades of uninterrupted economic growth, the changing nature of work means life is harder than it used to be for many of us.
So even though people are working hard, wages are flatlining and too many people – especially young people – aren’t getting the hours of work they need to live a decent life. Insecurity is on the rise and people are in record levels of personal debt because of unaffordable housing and the rising cost of living. And yet, one in four people living in poverty are also working full-time.
The system is rigged. Under Labor and Liberal governments, labour laws were rewritten to restrict people’s rights to organise, cut away at awards and restrict wages growth. The minimum wage has fallen to the point where even working full-time is no longer a guarantee of security. Our Fair Work Act now breaches international law. Giant corporations are wrecking our planet and making record profits while employers use labour laws to cut wages, conditions and workplace rights.
No to the TPP
The Labor and Liberal even parties joined together to sell out Australian workers by supporting the TPP – one of the most shocking trade agreements in a generation. The only winners out of the TPP are the giant corporations looking to exploit workers for their own super-profit. The Greens voted against the TPP and will always vote against unfair trade deals that undercut labour laws.
Change the rules
Right now, something has to give, our industrial relations laws are broken. The Greens are the only party that has formally endorsed the #ChangeTheRules campaign. The Greens will legislate to lift the minimum wage to 60% of the median wage, and we will protect penalty rates. We will also give workers the right to secure employment and protect workers’ rights by rewriting our labour laws.
Preparing for the future of work
Work is changing all around us. From temporary or freelance work through to manufacturing, advancements in technology and science represent an exciting opportunity for all of us. But we must plan for the transition for those whose jobs may be replaced by automated technologies within the next twenty years. We need to plan for the future, right now.
For younger and older workers alike, job security has been significantly reduced in today’s economy. But this issue has proven too big for the old parties to even acknowledge – they are too beholden to the industries of the past, instead of thinking about the industries they could be creating for our future.
Future of Work Commission
Under our plan, we will establish a specialised, independent Future of Work Commission. The Commission will examine the impacts of technological innovation and develop long-term strategies for jobs. It will find ways to overcome the threat of insecure work, casualisation and automation, as well as the new opportunities technological advancement creates. It will model a four day work week without loss of pay, and explore the prospect of introducing an Australian Universal Basic Income.
Invest in science, research and innovation
The Greens will also invest in the science, research and innovation that will transform our economy and make Australia a global leader in new technology.
The benefits of our plan:
- More secure, long term jobs
- More time doing the things we love
- No one left behind as our industries change
- More money for science, technology & innovation
Closing the gender wage gap
Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work. But right now, across Australia, women continue to be paid much less than men. The Greens believe all women should receive equal pay for work of equal value and unpaid caring responsibilities should be acknowledged and properly valued throughout our lifetime.
The Greens have a plan to begin legal, workplace and economic reforms to address the root causes of women’s income inequality. We support women’s rights to financial security and will focus on creating family-friendly, caring-friendly and flexible workplaces for everyone, including flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home.
The Greens are working towards equality for all women in all aspects of life, and are committed to seeing these values reflected in our laws and society.
The benefits of our plan:
- No more gender pay gap
- Easier to work and be a mum
- Caring work and family caring responsibilities are more valued
- More superannuation available in retirement
Investing in Australian creativity
Everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in a vibrant and thriving arts sector. The arts form the foundation of who we are as a culture, a society and as individuals. We should all be free to explore the arts and have our contributions valued.
Artists make a significant contribution to Australian cultural life. But, thanks to years of funding cuts by Labor and Liberal governments, they are forced to operate part-time and often for no pay at all. The average Australian artist lives below the poverty line and works multiple jobs - sometimes even taking unemployment payments in order to keep the lights on. 98% of Australian artists received Newstart between 2010 and 2015.
The arts are too valuable to be a part-time contribution. The Greens recognise that art and culture make a valuable contribution to the nation's economy and we recognise that support to the arts represents an important economic, as well as a social, investment.
We have a plan to support a creative and innovative Australia by establishing a Creativity Commission to provide oversight, advice and structural support to help grow the arts sector, by investing in local content production and by reinstating funding to the independent Australia Council for the Arts so that it can provide security and confidence to the sector.
The benefits of our plan:
- Grow the creative economy, an industry which Australians love
- Better support for artists and greater depth of creativity
- A thriving local screen content sector
- More secure jobs for people working in the creative sector
A big boost for small business
The Australian Greens are the party of small business. We have a plan to support genuine competition across the economy, by reducing the market power of the biggest players and levelling the playing field for the more than two million small businesses around the country.
Nearly half of all working people are employed by small businesses, and they generate around 40 per cent of new jobs. Backing small business means backing job creators.
Our plan to keep small businesses in business saw us become the only party to receive the endorsement of the Council of Small Business of Australia for the 2016 Federal Election.
Successive Labor and Liberal Governments have offered tax breaks for small businesses to invest in technology, property and machinery. They’ve offered incentives to replace workers with robots. We’re balancing the ledger, putting people back at the heart of small business policy.
Our comprehensive plan will deliver a 110% wages credit, reduce power bills and deliver a range of measures and protections that will make running a small business cheaper, simpler and safer - with more protections against late payments and big corporations.
The benefits of our plan:
- Introduce a 110% small business wages credit
- Reduce power bills for small businesses
- Double the GST Registration Threshold, reducing compliance costs and saving time
- Guarantee that your invoices are paid on time
- Defend you from unfair contract terms from large businesses