Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The ACTU is launching a campaign today to amend the Fair Work Act so that employers can be obliged to change the status of employees. This proposition will not lead to better job prospects but rather reduce employer capacity to manage the needs of employers and employees in their enterprise. The ACTU never accepts the idea that the people in the business, both employees and employers, are the ones best able to make decisions on what is good for all parties within an enterprise. The idea that the government or the ACTU or employer organisations know what is best is simply not true and is the reason why under Keating and the Coalition, until 2007, both sides of politics have wanted to give more authority to make these decisions to those at the 'coal face'. The introduction of this type of provision will not only discourage employers from giving someone a job but also limit the options for people who do not want to work a full week. Many people want flexibility of hours; to manage family responsibilities, to undertake non-work activities and, perhaps for some seniors, because they just don't want to do too much. These options give people a basic freedom to decide how they want to live their life and how and when they want to work.
Given that the Liberal Party supports this basic idea of freedom at work, it will be interesting to see if the Federal Coalition can bring itself to comment on the ACTU's proposal or are Liberal MPs too busy re-reading Peter Costello's article in today's 'Age"

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