Australia’s peak farm physique has slammed the Albanese Government after an overhaul of business relations legal guidelines was “rushed” by the Senate on Thursday, leaving farmers to take care of “layers of red tape” forward of Christmas.
It comes simply over per week after the controversial Closing Loopholes Bill was handed within the House of Representatives, to the dismay of the agriculture, small enterprise and useful resource sectors.
Farmers are significantly involved concerning the “same job, same pay” provision, which requires companies to pay labour-hire employees the identical as direct staff doing the identical work.
National Farmers’ Federation president David Jochinke — who had urged Labor to take the Bill “back to the drawing board” — stated the Government had “handed farmers a lump of coal for Christmas”.
“It’s left farm businesses to deal with complex legislation and layers of red tape during the festive season,” he stated.
“The average farmer doesn’t have a legal team to lean on to unpack this legislation.
“We’ve consistently called for extra time for Parliament to consider the more complex and controversial components of the Bill, but the Government has bowed to the unions and steamrolled ahead.”
The laws handed the Upper House after Labor struck a take care of unbiased senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock to vote for key parts of the Bill.
The Government claims the legal guidelines will cease firms underpaying employees by using labour rent, and criminalise intentional wage theft.
But Mr Jochinke stated they might make it tougher and costlier to create employment alternatives in farming.
“Farmers will be left to grapple with how they engage employees through labour hire in the context of this new legislation during the busiest time of the year,” he stated.
“Rushing through legislation on the last sitting day is irresponsible and contributes to a complex and costly industrial relations system that preferences unions over productivity and sensible solutions.”
Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke stated the legal guidelines would “make a material difference” within the lives of Australian employees.
“It means labour hire workers will no longer be underpaid,” he stated.
“It means it will finally be a criminal offence for an employer to steal from a worker’s pay, closing a long-standing loophole that created unfair competition for the vast majority of businesses that do the right thing.”
Industrial relations skilled and Curtin University lecturer Sandra Martain described the passing of the legal guidelines as “a win for workers and an embarrassment for big business”.
“The campaign of hysteria from big business was built on false assertions: employers would not be able to use labour hire brokers in areas of temporary or special need as they have always done, or that employers would not be able to pay workers differential pay based on their performance or specialised expertise,” Dr Martain stated.
“The reforms were never about this. They are aimed at closing the loophole whereby organisations that negotiate enterprise agreements with their staff— in good faith — can then sidestep those agreements by outsourcing the work and using labour hire workers, who may or may not have enterprise agreements in place, to reduce their labour cost.
“Organisations who have not been exploiting this loophole have nothing to worry about.
“Organisations who have will now need to reassess their staffing models and start paying all workers fairly.”
Mr Burke stated the Government wouldn’t it progress the remainder of the laws on the earliest alternative early subsequent yr.