Employers may be able to cut the annual holiday entitlements of Australian workers from four to just two weeks a year under the Federal Governments new industrial relations laws.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said today that the Government was
still considering whether it would allow employers to use individual contracts
to reduce workers’ annual leave entitlements from four to two

Under the Government’s plans an employer would be able to
insist that all new employees sign an individual contract, which provides just
two weeks annual leave.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow

“What the Government is proposing is the beginning of the end
of the family holiday for working Australians.

“The Minister
insists employers would be required to pay ‘compensation’ to
employees but unions fear that over time Australian workers will lose their
right to four weeks holidays.

“The ACTU is calling on the Federal
Government to guarantee working Australians that their annual holiday will be

“Despite the barbeque-stopper rhetoric, family time on
weekends and holidays may be relegated to the scrap heap.

the Government’s industrial relations plans employees face being pushed
onto individual contracts that could cut their pay and job entitlements and
around four million employees will also lose protection from unfair dismissal.

“Today’s news that the Government is considering cutting
annual leave entitlements to just two weeks as a new legal minimum is bound to
add to the unease that is already out there in the community.

“These changes will take working families backwards when they are
just struggling to keep their heads above water.

“The Prime
Minister should now think again,” said ACTU President Sharan

Poll results show widespread concern

Poll results also released today show a major downturn in support for the
Government and that there is widespread concern in the community about the
Howard Government’s workplace reforms.


Industrial reforms take toll on Coalition


honeymoon over