Jobs and Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has announced that the Morrison Government will legislate the right to request full time work after 12 months of regular work as a casual, months after unions won the same right through the Fair Work Commission.
The Morrison Government is cynically announcing reforms which have already been won – against their opposition – by the union movement rather than taking meaningful action to end the insecure work crisis.
Just a year ago the Turnbull Government was trashing casual conversion. Former Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash said in December 2017; “These types of policies from the Labor Party together with the unions will result in businesses being unable to hire more people.”
Craig Laundy articulated the Government’s position on the insecure work crisis in March this year; “The lie is that the rate of insecure work in this country is lifting. It's not. It's completely where it was 20 years ago.”
"It is working exactly as it was designed to function” and "This is a left-wing lunatic attempt to reset [the ACTU's] business model."
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Workers who are designated as casuals but know their shifts months in advance are being ripped off by their employers. The courts have made it clear they cannot be casuals just because their employer chooses to call them casuals. Workers who are in truth permanent employees should receive their proper entitlements from the outset.
“This is a cynical play by the Morrison Government. The vast majority of workers already have these rights thanks to the union case at the Fair Work Commission.
“If the Minister was serious about addressing the insecure work crisis she would define casual work to prevent these issues occurring in the first place, take action to stop abuse of labour hire laws, stop endless fixed-term contracts, and stop employers forcing workers onto ABNs.
“We need to change the rules to stop the insecure work crisis. The Minister has instead announced something that already exists to score some easy points before the end of the year. Australian workers deserve better than this Government.”