Someone is messing with your rights at work – what you need to know

A new Industrial Relations (IR) law that will allow employers to cut the wages and conditions of workers has just been introduced.

Let’s just let that sink in for a moment.

Cuts to wages and conditions – in a year where workers have carried us through the pandemic and copped everything from job cuts to frontline exposure to COVID.

Sorry, but what?

Along with stripping away protections for all workers, the proposed law is going to hit casual workers hard, making it more difficult to secure permanent work where they want it.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus has described the IR changes as “dangerous and extreme.” And well, she’s spot on.

Let’s take a closer look at what these IR changes mean for you and why we should all be very, very worried.

Why are these new laws bad for me?

It will allow employers to cut wages and conditions. Shockingly, they will even let agreements go BELOW the minimum award safety-net.

Don’t these changes mean that some casual workers can get permanency?

This law actually takes rights off casuals, allowing employers to call workers casuals and take away leave rights. They say casual workers will be able to become permanent after 12 months but when the employer says ‘no’, workers have no effective way of challenging the decision – a right is worth nothing if you can’t enforce it.

What happens if I’m working on a new building or construction project? Am I going to be impacted by these changes?

Absolutely. These changes to the law will see workers on big project construction sites stripped of bargaining rights for up to eight years, creating a new class of workers with fewer rights than everyone else. This is exactly what the big mining and construction bosses want. FIFO workers will be hit hard by these changes.

I don’t think it will affect me – but should I be worried?

These laws will have wide-reaching implications for young workers, casuals, and other insecure workers. It could be your spouse or your children who will bear the brunt of these new laws. These changes are dangerous and extreme, and if the proposed laws pass through parliament, they will seriously tip the balance in favour of big businesses, and it will be your family that will pay the price.

Australian Unions will fight these IR changes, which will leave working people worse off. Add your name to our petition and join us in saying “I’m for the workers.” 

Date Published: 10/12/2020 Category: Covid-19 Workers rights

Related Content

Safe Work 4 Women: enough talk – it’s time for action

Safe Work 4 Women: enough talk – it’s time for action

Australian Unions has joined together with a diverse group of organisations representing women’s rights to demand the Morrison Government deliver real safety at work for women.

Read More

The end of JobKeeper.... and those left behind

The end of JobKeeper.... and those left behind

This time last year, Australian Unions fought for, and won, JobKeeper. This week, the Morrison Government has taken it away, with no plans for a replacement, writes Chloe Ward.

Read More