In this episode I talk about the cost that sick leave has on the economy, and that we need to move away from the archaic way that we very personal/carer’s leave. It’s time we stopped this allocation of limited days and moved to unlimited sick leave. You can join the discussion on LinkedIn, in the … Read more
Penalty rates. If you believe business and industry groups, they are restricting employment, holding the economy back, and are responsible for businesses closing their doors on weekend and public holidays.
Are they really the big bad evil that they are claimed to be, or do businesses deal with worse things?
If they aren’t that bad, what can be done to manage them?
About Penalty Rates
Something that seems to be forgotten or overlooked in the propaganda battle is that penalty rates are a penalty imposed on a business for doing a particular task that is outside of normal operations. This could be working on weekends, working overnight, working in the rain, or even in extreme heat or cold.
Two of the things that are often seen to be in conflict with each other, and have been the subject of an unknown number of discussions, and unfair dismissal complaints.
These have both come to national attention lately with the comments and subsequent termination of former SBS Football Reporter/Presenter, Scott McIntyre.
While I am not going to repost or repeat his tweet here, SBS found the numerous tweets to be inappropriate and in breach of both their Code of Conduct, and Social Media Policy.
What makes this example interesting is that every backyard lawyer is coming out of the woodwork saying SBS is silencing free speech. Actually, there are even lawyers and barristers saying the same thing.
There is a never ending battle for supremacy in industrial relations in Australia.
On one side of the battle ground you have the employer associations screaming at the government that Australia’s restrictive workplace legislation is killing productivity, blowing out wages, and restricting growth.
They also claim that the current Right of Entry provisions give the unions virtually unrestricted access to their business.
On the other side are the employee groups, or trade unions, and they are screaming the opposite. The legislation doesn’t go far enough to protect employees from unscrupulous employers or enshrine job security. And that the Right of Entry provisions are too restrictive and don’t allow permit holders quick access to workplaces to protect members when things go bad.
Both sides claim that only by joining their organisation will you be able to protect yourself from the evil that will soon come.
And yet throughout all of this, the poor business owner/manager and employee are quickly forgotten. The reality is that they are nothing more than pawns in a popularity contest to see who holds the most influence with the government of the day.
Members Are Being Lied To
The cold hard truth of the matter is that both employer and employee groups don’t want their respective potential and current members to be able to solve their IR problems themselves, because if they did, they would soon realise that there is no point in staying a member.
Whilst they do provide a ‘service’ to their members in the form of a contact line to seek advice on their IR related issue. Actual advice on how to prevent it happening again is scarce or vague at best.
Both sides tell their respective members and future members, that Australia’s employment legislation is extremely complex, and it is only with their expert help that the average person will be able to understand it.
Welcome to the first episode of the IR Simplified podcast. With future episodes, anything that is mentioned in the show will appear here as a show note. You can find this podcast on iTunes by clicking below.
Steve Knott, Chief Executive of AMMA, when talking about the Fair Work Act 2009 stated “… for too long employers have battled an ineffective and uncompetitive workplace system that creates barriers and distractions to leadership, innovation and productivity.” That unions were “…forcing employers to process a phone book of union claims, effectively excluding any real opportunity to look at ways to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the business”. He goes even further to say that “The system also leaves employers under a constant threat of strike action”
Is he right, making misleading comments, or showing his lack of understanding of Australia’s employment legislation?
It should be noted that the comments above were made in support of the Fair Work Amendment (Bargaining Processes) Bill 2014 which is currently before parliament.