The ACTU condemns the plan being floated by Jobs and Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer to let businesses off the hook for years of rorting casual employment. That the Minister would even contemplate using ministerial powers to change regulations to rip off workers, without any approval from parliament or the courts, shows how desperate, underhanded and out of touch the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government is.
People who are in casual employment for years on end are not choosing to live their lives with no job security or ability to plan their lives. The “permanent casual” - a class of worker who works the same patterns of work as permanent employee but without sick leave, annual leave and other benefits - is a sham contrived by employers who are seeking to avoid basic employment standards.
Now those employers are complaining that legal redress to their actions might be too expensive, and the Minister is falling over herself to bail them out.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Workers being stuck for years in casual roles while they do the same work as a full time or part time employee is a massive problem which has been created by employers trying to escape their obligations to their employees.
“Employers should pay a price for decades of abusing loopholes in our broken system to rip off workers. It is not the place of the Minister to protect businesses from the consequences of their actions.
“We need to change the rules on casual work so that there is a clear definition which stops employers using it as a tool to strip entitlements.
“Instead, the Morrison Government is trying to shield employers from the costs of ripping off workers.
“The Minister should be more concerned with ensuring that workers who are forced into casual work have access simple and effective recourse so that they can claim their correct entitlements.