Despite the best efforts of the Liberal Party, the Gillard Government has secured the passage of the Fair Work Amendment Bill through the House of Representatives.
After a series of shameless and shambolic backflips, the Opposition has ultimately failed in its crude attempt to prevent provisions which act on the scourge of workplace bullying.
The Fair Work Amendment Bill delivers on the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to a fair, balanced and productive workplace relations system which protects the most vulnerable.
The Bill implements the key recommendation of the House of Representatives inquiry into workplace bullying to provide a quick and effective right of recourse for victims through the Fair Work Commission.
The Bill also contains new family friendly arrangements including to provide additional flexibility for parents taking unpaid parental leave after the birth of their child and a right for pregnant women to transfer to a safe job.
The amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 expand the Gillard Government’s right to request flexible working arrangements to:
- Working parents;
- Employees with caring responsibilities;
- Mature age employees and employees with disability; and
- Employees suffering domestic violence or caring for a member of their family or household who is suffering domestic violence.
The Bill will ensure the Fair Work Commission takes into account the need to provide additional remuneration to employees working outside normal hours, such as employees working overtime or on weekends.
The Fair Work Amendment Bill also contains a new consultative requirement to recognise that employees which have family responsibilities can be adversely affected when changes to rosters and regular working hours are proposed.
The Bill clarifies the current right of entry rules to better balance the need for unions to be able to represent their members professionally with the need for employers to go about their business productively.
At its core, the Liberal Party believe in unfair individual contracts which rip away basic rights and entitlements.
Tony Abbott and the Liberals have demonstrated once again that they cannot be trusted on workplace relations.