Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, today launched a new guide to help textile and clothing manufacturers comply with their legal obligations to workers.
Labelling and accreditation organisation, Ethical Clothing Australia, has developed the new Guide to the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award, in an easy to read format to help businesses understand how to comply with the relevant legislation. Given many manufacturers in the industry speak Chinese and Vietnamese, the guide to the Award has also been translated into these languages.
The development of the guide is the latest initiative of Ethical Clothing Australia, which aims to help local businesses ensure that Australian workers making their products receive fair wages and work in decent conditions.
“This guide will help educate employers so they can provide fair and safe workplaces for their employees. Workers can also access the guide to learn about their entitlements and ensure that they receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” the Minister said.
Ethical Clothing Australia’s national manager, Simon McRae, hopes the guide will be of practical assistance to the industry and help them to navigate their obligations under the Award.
“Many Australian manufacturers are operating in a difficult economic climate. We believe it’s important to support the businesses that are committed to manufacturing in Australia, and equip them with the tools they need to comply with their legal obligations to Australian workers,” Mr McRae said.
In hosting the launch event, managing director of accredited denim label Nobody, John Condilis, welcomed Ethical Clothing Australia’s new guide as a great example of government, industry and union representatives collaborating to provide practical support for the local textile and clothing industry.
“We’re really proud of manufacturing our garments here in Fitzroy, and it’s important to me that our workers are paid fairly and work in decent conditions. Having the new guide available means that other business owners can now more easily navigate their way around the Award, and understand what changes they may need to make in order to comply with the legislation. To me, it’s just as much about good business sense as it is about treating workers ethically,” Mr Condilis said.
The easy to read 54 page guide is available free of charge via the Ethical Clothing Australia website; www.ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au