none

CASUAL EMPLOYMENT FLEXIBILITY MUST BE RETAINED: AiGROUP

15-03-2016
by 
in 

Union claims about an alleged increased “casualisation” of the workforce are a myth, says Australia’s peak industry body,

The claims are designed to convince the community that there is a problem to increase the chance of their restrictive and inappropriate claims being accepted,” says AiGroup Chief Executive Innes Willox.

The Fair Work Commission is now hearing evidence from a broad range of witnesses in the Casual and Part-time Employment Case.  

“While many different views will be expressed about the benefits of increasing or reducing flexibility to engage casuals, one indisputable fact is that the level of casual employment has not increased in Australia for the past 18 years,” says Mr Willox.  

“ABS statistics show that it remains at 20% of the workforce – the same level as it was in 1998.”

Mr Willox said Ai Group is playing a leading role in representing Australian employers in the case.  

Ai Group’s evidence and submissions in the case would demonstrate that:

·       Patterns of casual employment and award provisions relating to casual employment are very different from industry to industry, and these differences need to be maintained.  Any “one-size-fits-all” approach would be very damaging.

For example, a four hour minimum engagement period for casuals in the construction industry may not be a problem, but it would be crippling in the aged care and community services sectors which provide in-home services for the elderly and sick, and people with disabilities. The evidence shows that businesses that currently provide in-home care would in many cases be unable to continue to provide these services.

·       It is vital that existing casual employment flexibility is retained. Australia needs to increase participation in the workforce.  Maintaining flexibility for employers to engage casuals is critical because hundreds of thousands of employees are not available or do not wish to work on a permanent basis.

·       If the unions’ claims for casuals to have an absolute right to convert to permanent employment were granted, the evidence shows that thousands of casual employees would be terminated.

·       There are a number of overly restrictive existing award provisions in particular industries that need to be addressed.  

For example: The award that applies to the fast food industry contains a minimum engagement period of three hours for casuals, even though the evidence shows that many young people would like the option of working a two hour shift.

·       Casuals cannot currently be employed in production and maintenance roles under the award that applies in the black coal mining industry, even though there are a large number of casuals employed in the industry under enterprise agreements.

·       Part-time employment is prohibited under the award that applies to long distance truck drivers, and there is no good reason for this.

“Few casuals are union members and this is perhaps the reason why the unions are so hell-bent on demonising casual employment. Their job destroying claims are not in the interests of employers, employees or the community,” Mr Willox said.

Related news & editorials

  1. 12.12.2018
    12.12.2018
    by      In
    There are very few companies in Australia that can point to half a century of experience in electronic control systems, but Plant Control & Automation is one that certainly can.
    The company was founded in Sydney in 1968 by Adrian Smith, a young engineer who immediately set about designing and... Read More
  2. 11.12.2018
    11.12.2018
    by      In
    A-Safe Australasia has capped off a record year with a move to new premises. And while the company’s new base at 177-179 Power Street, Glendenning in Sydney’s west is just a few hundred metres from its old home at 197 Power Street, it provides the company with more than double the office and... Read More
  3. 10.12.2018
    10.12.2018
    by      In
    Aurecon has named Louise Adams as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. She was formerly Regional Director responsible for the company’s South Australian and Victorian practice.
    Announcing the appointment, incoming Global Chief Executive Officer, William Cox, said: “Senior female... Read More
  4. 10.12.2018
    10.12.2018
    by      In
    Safety specialist Axelent is expanding its activities in Australia and New Zealand with the addition of Rob Quinn as Business Development Manager with a brief to focus on customer development and growth in the New South Wales and Queensland markets.
    “I am so pleased to welcome Rob Quinn to the... Read More