Greens reject push for ‘permanent casuals’ and welcome FWC ruling on flexible work.
Greens spokesperson for employment and industrial relations today opposed the NSW business lobby’s proposal to create a new category of ‘permanent casual’, but welcomed a recent ruling by the Fair Work Commission on flexible work as a move towards Greens policy, but noted that it did not go far enough to protect the rights of working people seeking to have more control over their working arrangements.
These two recent developments highlight two distinct requirements for our employment laws: to give people secure, ongoing work who deserve it and to match the hours people want to work with the hours they actually work. Two problems plaguing workplaces are job insecurity and over & under employment—and it should be a priority for politicians on all sides, not just The Greens, to implement laws that rectify these issues.
On ‘permanent casual’:
“We don’t need new iterations of casual work, we need more secure work,” said Mr Bandt, a former employment lawyer.
“Long-term casuals who are working predictable, ‘permanent’ hours should be transitioned over to stable, ongoing part or full-time employment that gives them the benefits of leave and security.
“This stinks of big business desperately trying to avoid giving some of their ‘casual’ workers the security they should be entitled to.
“Instead of adopting this proposal, I encourage the new IR Minister to steal a Greens policy that creates a new legislative presumption in favour of ongoing employment.”
On FWC decision:
“This decision is a good start, but there’s still more to do,” said Mr Bandt.
“My bill, currently before Parliament, gives people with caring responsibilities more control over their work arrangements and an enforceable right to shift to flexible work, with an employer only able to refuse their request citing serious countervailing business reasons.
“We need to give people more control over their working lives and an enforceable right to ask for different working arrangements, so we can share available work around more fairly and relieve the pressure on people.
“But we especially need to look out for those those juggling work and caring responsibilities.
“The Greens will continue to advocate for working people to have more control over their working lives.”
Contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054