Labour hire laws fail­ure

The Weekend Post - - News -

CHRIS CAL­CINO A SMALL union rally out­side War­ren Entsch’s of­fice has failed to sway the Le­ich­hardt MP on penalty rate cuts.

Queens­land Coun­cil of Unions branch pres­i­dent Rob Hill ac­cused Mr Entsch of merely pay­ing lip-ser­vice to his con­stituents’ fi­nan­cial strug­gles as the clock ticked down to to­mor­row’s cuts.

“This re­gion was hit pretty hard by the last round of penalty rate cuts – up to 9000 peo­ple were af­fected,” he said.

“We’ve got peo­ple un­der­em­ployed, and the ca­su­al­i­sa­tion scourge is huge in Cairns.”

Mr Entsch was fly­ing back from Can­berra dur­ing the rally but said La­bor set up the Fair Work Com­mis­sion and baulked when it rec­om­mended cuts.

“The in­de­pen­dent ar­biter con­sid­ered all the ar­gu­ments from both busi­nesses and em­ploy­ees and came up with a de­ci­sion,” he said.

“You can’t over­turn an in­de­pen­dent um­pire’s de­ci­sion ev­ery time you don’t like it for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.”

A ReachTEL sur­vey com­mis­sioned by the ACTU ear­lier this week re­vealed two-thirds of re­gional Queens­lan­ders backed La­bor’s plan to re­store penalty rates. con­firm­ing that any provider of labour hire ser­vices that missed the June 15 dead­line will not be pe­nalised, pro­vided they have since sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion,” she said.

“They have also con­firmed this ap­plies to the clients who en­gage with them.”

The WHSQ spokesman re­jected the sug­ges­tion the scheme had been poorly ad­ver­tised, say­ing it had been sup­ported by a widely-dis­trib­uted news­pa­per and so­cial me­dia cam­paign backed by ra­dio an­nounce­ments.

“All labour hire providers who were reg­is­tered with WorkCover were ad­vised via di­rect email,” he con­tin­ued.

“Ad­vice was also dis­trib­uted to a mail­ing list of self-nom­i­nated in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers.”

De­trac­tors of the scheme have crit­i­cised the an­nual li­cens­ing cost, which starts at $1000 for busi­nesses with wages of $1.5 mil­lion or less and rise to $5000 for busi­nesses pay­ing staff more than $5 mil­lion a year.

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