ACTU calls out Jeff Kennett on pay cuts for WFH workers 

Media Release - July 12, 2023

The ACTU has called out former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett’s suggestion that staff working from home should have their pay docked as “they save money as it saves them all the stress”. 

Mr Kennett is quoted as saying “There will be people making a decision (to work from home) because they don’t have to go through the trauma of driving to and from work, or (taking) the train or something – they save money and it saves them all that stress.” 

The ACTU believes that whether workers are at their office desk or home desk they should have rights and entitlements to share productivity gains, a safe and health work environment and the ability to draw a line between work and life. 

Workers shouldn’t be out of pocket for the expense of working from home, with the cost of heating and electricity skyrocketing over the past 12 months. 

The ACTU ‘Working from home Charter’ states home workers must be treated equally with all other workers. The terms and conditions of all home workers should be fair and at least equivalent to workers who are not working from home. They must get the same opportunities for promotion, development and training and be equally eligible for other forms of flexible working. Home working should have no adverse differential effects by gender, age, disability, or other worker characteristics. 

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus: 

“Whenever there’s an issue affecting workers, it seems the Liberals have one answer, cut people’s pay. It wouldn’t matter the problem, it’s always the same solution, cut workers pay. 

“There is one exception to this rule and that’s when it comes to their own pay and the pay of CEOs. This pay should always go up. Jeff Kennett should abandon his knee-jerk Liberal party views, working people are living through a cost-of-living crisis after 10 years of wage stagnation. The last thing people need is pay cuts” 

The ACTU Network

Australian Unions

Whether you want to join a union, take action in campaigns, or make the most of the benefits of being a union member, Australian Unions is the place to go for information and resources.
Visit Australian Unions

Mind Your Head

We’re taking action to protect workplace mental health.
Visit Mind Your Head


Your rights at work for students and for people entering the workforce for the first time.
Visit Worksite


Information and resources for health and safety representatives and workers about how to speak up at work for health and safety.
Visit OHS

Union Aid Abroad

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is the overseas aid and development agency of the ACTU. Our work aims to build self-reliance through support to educational and training projects for workers and their organisations in the developing world.
Visit Union Aid Abroad

ACTU National Union Directory

Find who you are looking for from the who’s who of the union movement.
Visit the ACTU National Union Dictionary
Australian Council of Trade Unions

Representing Australian workers and their families.