Tony Abbott has confirmed that unfair individual contracts will be back under a Liberal government.
The policy released yesterday by Tony Abbott puts individual contracts back at the centre of workplace relations.
The Liberal Party have clearly flagged in their policy document their intention to detach Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs) from Enterprise Agreements and undermining the Better Off Overall Test.
Currently, the Fair Work Act provides for Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs), but they are subject to important safeguards:
- they are not stand-alone, statutory individual contracts;
- they must be underpinned by an Enterprise Agreement or an Award;
- they are subject to a real Better Off Overall Test;
- they can’t be offered as a condition of employment, or on a take it or leave it basis;
- they can’t exclude individuals from the award or collective agreement; and
- they can’t undermine the pay and conditions negotiated through a collective bargaining agreement.
- Under Labor, the safety net cannot be ripped away through a statutory individual agreement.
There can be no doubt that the Liberal Party want to reintroduce individual statutory agreements.
On page 27, the Liberal’s policy states:
“The ability for an IFA to be restricted by the terms of anenterprise agreement will be abolished.”
The Liberal Party want to allow the return of unfair contracts which undermine the wages and conditions of working people.
Buried at the back of their policy document, the Liberal Party opened the door wide open to undermining the Better Off Overall Test.
On page 36, they open the door to allowing ‘non-monetary benefits’ under the Better Off Overall Test.
What that means is, pizza for penalty rates.
The record of the Liberal Party shows that this is a real threat to Australian working people.
Under Work Choices, 100 per cent of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) ripped away at least one so called ‘protected award conditions’. Things like penalty rates, allowances, rest breaks and public holidays.
Under Work Choices, 63 per cent of AWAs ripped away penalty rates; 64 per cent ripped away leave loading and 40 per cent cut rest breaks.
In 2009, Tony Abbott said:
“WorkChoices wasn’t all bad.” BATTLE LINES, 2009
Now we know Tony Abbott still believes the worst aspects of Work Choices are worth preserving; the ability to rip away penalty rates, leave loading and rest breaks from hardworking Australians.
Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party cannot be trusted on workplace relations. Not then, not now, not ever.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Casey 0421 697 660