August 06, 2007
Horse 790 - Workplace Dis-Agreement
The Workplace Authority is running a series of advertisments on TV and radio at the moment which quite frankly are not only deceptive, but plain out lying to the public. I found this in an advert (paid for by the taxpayer) in today's Sydney Morning Herald:
No person, whether you are an employee or an employer, can apply duress to you in connection with an Australian workplace agreement. The application of duress in these circumstances is prohibited by law.
Generally speaking, duress means that someone puts illegitimate pressure on you to:
- do something that you are not obliged to do; or
- not do something you are entitled to do.
That is, the pressure must prevent you from exercising your own free will. Some examples of duress may be:
- a threat that you may lose your job if you do not sign an Australian workplace agreement;
- a threat by a new employer in a transmission of business situation that you may lose your job in the business being transferred if you do not sign an Australian workplace agreement as a condition of continued employment in the business;
- a threat that you may be demoted/lose work if you do not sign an Australian workplace agreement; or
- a threat to make unreasonable changes to your roster or location of your worksite unless you sign an Australian workplace agreement.
Hang on. Let me just recall this:
- a threat that you may lose your job if you do not sign an Australian workplace agreement.
Hmmm, the alarm needs to be raised here.
Under the Howard Government’s IR changes unfair dismissal protections were abolished for all people working in workplaces with fewer than 100 workers. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 3.761 million Australian employees currently without any projection from unfair dismissal.
If you wish - 99% of private sector firms don't need to comply with unfair dismissal laws since businesses with up to 100 staff are exempt from unfair dismissal laws. ABS data suggests only 1.1% of private sector employers have more than 100 staff. This means employees in more than 575,800 private sector businesses now have no unfair dismissal rights under the Government’s new IR laws.
Companies with less than 100 employees CAN sack workers without cause and without remedy. If you don't sign an Australian workplace agreement they don't even need that as an excuse. Your job can be terminated without notice or cause, Workplace Agreement or not.
In short, the Workplace Authority's adverts are little more than a pile of shite. Please don't lie to us Mr Howard; please don't make us pay for your lies to be run in the media.
Posted by Rollo at 12:00