Employment and Workplace Relations

Workplace laws should be fair and protect all workers from unjust treatment and unsafe conditions.

We view work as something which should be rewarding, enriching, and the basis of our families’, communities’, and state’s welfare and prosperity.

South Australia must have a fair and equitable industrial relations system for all workers. Workers deserve work laws which provide them with the protections, rights and responsibilities that come with a just and sustainable society. Workplaces should provide better work-life balance, with people having more control over their working arrangements and options for flexible working practices, balanced against the legitimate operational needs of the employer.

It's time for change. Industrial laws in this state have let down workers. It’s time for a fairer future and a fairer system, and the Greens are a proven, genuine alternative in this space.

The Greens believe:

  1. All people must have the right to pursue their wellbeing in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security and equal opportunity

  2. Everyone has the right to engage in paid employment if they choose.

  3. Unwaged work such as volunteer, community, caring and domestic work should be recognised and valued.

  4. People must be afforded the option to spend less time in paid employment to engage in family, voluntary, community, and creative activities.

  5. There must be equal pay for equal work.

  6. As technology and more efficient work practices reduce the need for specific types of labour, it is necessary for our society to examine ways of sharing the existing amount of paid work on a more equitable basis and explore new opportunities for meeting community needs.

  7. Everyone has the right to work in a safe and harassment-free environment.

  8. Everyone has the right to work in a safe workplace free from avoidable occupational hazards.

  9. Industrial manslaughter is a crime.

  10. The objectives of profitability and efficiency should not override social and ecological objectives.

  11. Workplace laws should provide better work-life balance, with people having more control over their working arrangements and enforceable rights to flexible working practices.

  12. Workers are entitled to democratic participation in deciding the future direction and development of the organisation for which they work.

  13. Everyone has the right to be a member of a union.

  14. Profits must not come at the expense of the wellbeing, wages and conditions of workers or the environment.

  15. Fair and comprehensive workers compensation rights are essential to protect workers.

  16. Governments and employers have the responsibility to ensure a just transition for workers to a low net zero greenhouse gas emitting economy, which guarantees comparable or better working conditions and security.

  17. Everyone should have access to ongoing learning and training opportunities that are appropriate to their needs and objectives.

  18. Sex work is real work, and sex workers deserve the same rights, respect and protections as any other worker

The Greens will:

  1. Ensure that all workers are entitled to fair minimum wages, secure employment, and strong workplace safety standards.

  2. Ensure that all workers are free from discrimination, workplace intimidation and bullying, and have access to relevant training and development.

  3. Support workplace and employment standards as promoted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

  4. Ensure migrant and temporary workers are entitled to the same workplace rights and conditions as other workers.

  5. Ensure that everyone has the right to freely choose to join or not join a union that represents them in the workplace.

  6. Ensure the right of entry for union officials into the workplace of members who they represent or have coverage over.

  7. Ensure that workplace laws recognise the right to strike or withhold labour, to collectively bargain and to organise.

  8. Introduce industrial manslaughter laws and tough penalties for employers who breach these laws.

  9. Support 15 days of paid leave for family and domestic violence per annum.

  10. Ensure all workers are entitled as a minimum to long service leave after 10 years of work, regardless of change of workplace, industry or employment status.

  11. Legislate to improve minimum employment standards for trainees and apprentices.

  12. Provide resources to grassroots and democratic organisations of the unemployed to give them an effective voice in society.

  13. Ensure a strong and viable public sector dedicated to the public interest, with State Government setting the standard for best practice wages and conditions across South Australia.

  14. Support a universal workers compensation scheme that provides protection for workers injured at work and ensures fair compensation for any ongoing loss of income, permanent impairment, and pain and suffering together with lifetime cover for reasonable and necessary medical expenses; and provides return-to-work pathways where appropriate, including training and work adjustment support.

  15. Extend workers compensation benefits to cover workers injured on a journey to or from work.

  16. Amend the Return to Work Act to make workers compensation more accessible and to ensure that psychiatric injuries are properly assessed and considered when calculating impairment ratings.

  17. Ensure that ‘gig economy’ workers are afforded the same work rights as any other worker in South Australia, including a minimum wage and leave entitlements not less than those available to award-covered workers.

  18. Recognise the work of interns and prac students as work, and institute fair payment for work undertaken over the course of an internship, including those undertaken as part of a prac or tertiary study.

  19. Protect workers’ privacy in the workplace, and ban covert and overt surveillance of employees unless exceptional circumstances can be proved.

  20. Reverse the trend of increased casualisation and use of short-term contracts in the public sector workforce.

  21. Ensure statutory protection for workers categorised as subcontractors to ensure they are paid on time and in full

(Employment and Workplace Relations Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council April 2021)