Labor's IR Shame File
I invite you to contribute your stories and examples to the Labor IR Shame File. Please be assured your submissions will be treated confidentially.
Having released an employee for unsatisfactory performance and possible serious misconduct, we are told that to appear at telephone conciliation with Fair Work Australia will cost $4000 to $6000 in legal fees alone and that the conciliators are measured on results, meaning the idea is to agree on settlement and that means money! If we fail to agree and need to go to a hearing we are talking $15,000 to $20,000. Only a fool would proceed to FWA unrepresented. How many small businesses can afford the time, never mind the money and disruption to their businesses?
I own a child care centre. I was taken to unfair dismissal. I changed the room of an employee (wages, hours etc, all equal). She didn’t like the room change, so wouldn’t come to work and wouldn’t resign. I was bullied by the union. I did not ask the employee to work in another country, just in a room about 3 metres away. I had to pay her over $2000.00.
My husband and I run a tiny espresso bar/coffee distribution business and his only employee at the time was taking cash out of the till. We had suspicions for months, but couldn't afford security cameras or sophisticated POs to deter him. When my husband finally worked out a way to investigate the situation, we realised that there was no doubt our suspicions were right. I was counselled to follow the FWA's small business code checklist. Based on that we held a meeting with him. When we told the employee of our findings, we said that we hadn't yet called the police and we gave him the option of resigning. We did this because we thought he was thieving because he couldn't make ends meet at home rather than purely criminal indulgences. The employee literally fled out the door after saying there was no need to call in the police, he would resign immediately. He subsequently filed an unfair dismissal claim saying that because we didn't report it to the police and pretended that he resigned and didn't give him a chance to have a support person that it was unfair. This has happened within 18months of us opening a small business. We have no money for legal representation and the employee had someone act pro-bono for him. We ended up several thousand out of pocket, because it was cheaper to pay a thief to go away then to use the tribunal system to fight it. The commissioner who facilitated the conciliation said to my husband that even he could see the employee was guilty but settling was the cheaper option. Our lawyer told us we "got off pretty lightly". The employee was stealing from us, but we were the ones who were made to feel like criminals.
Our industry is under intense pressure from a variety of sources, including regulatory and financial. We are optimistic that reforms will flow from the Productivity Commission’s inquiry, “Caring for Older Australians” however, these will take time to be fully implemented.
The Modern Awards have provided a new source of risk, cost and time-wasting for employers in our industry, while providing little or no benefit to employees. In fact, the inflexibilities which are built into these Awards have proven disadvantageous to both employees and employers.
There will be a review of the Awards in the near future to which we will of course make submissions which propose sensible change.
However, our experiences in having our industry’s voice largely ignored during the making of these Awards give us no reason to expect a more positive outcome this time.
As a Liberal voter I suggest you take a look at the deal the Labor Party has done with the Pharmacy Guild to take away penalty rates for pharmacy assistants in Victoria and maybe other states as well. I have worked in a pharmacy as a second job for 20 years mostly nights and weekend shifts as a casual which is how I want to work. I now find that from July 1st that I am no longer able to work as a casual and the penalty rates for Saturdays have been cut.
Ms Gillard, for the last 18 months negotiations have stalled between Telstra and Communications Employers and Plumbers Union (CEPU) in respect to expired Enterprise Agreement. As it stands, we are over $10,000 behind those who accepted Telstra’s ECA, and a further $5,000+ in lost income due to industrial bans in place by the CEPU. The CEPU is unable to take the matter to Fair Work Australia which your government moved to when Work Choices were scrapped. Under the previous legislation, both parties were able to go to the then Industrial Relations Commission to have industrial issues resolved. This is not the case with Fair Work Australia, as under the new industrial legislation, Fair Work Australia; recognises if both parties, are deemed to be Fair Bargaining, then neither party can take the issue to Fair Work Australia. As disclosed earlier, CEPU members are currently $15,000+ out of pocket, before tax.
State Retailers Association of South Australia
The introduction of the New Modern Award pay rates on July 1st 2010 has turned out to be the biggest disaster faced by employers in a decade or more.
The process of working out the transition provisions of the new pay rates is complicated even for experts and constant reference back to Fair Work Australia is essential to check calculations, which is further frustrated by Government Staff who are also unsure.
We doubt if a small business operator who didn’t have an association to refer to or sufficient computer skills could, in fact, work out what the pay rates for staff should be, especially if they were casuals.
The Government should declare a moratorium on the issue to enable Fair Work Australia to get its act into order and then employers might stand a chance to check their tables and pay staff the correct salary.
The current confused situation is untenable; but is, for now, more important than refugee or mining issues.
Confusion reigns as retailers face modern award: Australian Retailers Association
Peak industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said confusion among retailers dealing with the first phase of the modern award was at an all time high as they struggled to understand exactly what they need to pay staff.
While the phase-in of the modern award spreads wage bill increase over five years, it also adds to the complexity of calculating wage payments. Without turning to experts for help, retailers are struggling to understand just what they need to pay their staff.
Over the past month and even more so in the last couple of days, out of all the questions we receive from retailers the clear stand-out queries relate to new base rates of pay, casual loadings, penalties and allowances. There's a lot of confusion out there.
The five-year incremental transition between old state-based awards and the modern award system is a highly complex process – there is a lot for employers to consider. It's not only the phase-in of the new General Retail Industry Award rates, penalties and loadings beginning this week, it's also the phase-out of all the state-based award entitlements and the $26 per week increase to minimum wage.
Most retailers don't have the in-house employment relations support needed to ensure they meet their obligations and they're relying on employer associations to take the headache out of modern award transitions.
I am employer in a small business in the Bass electorate in Tasmania. My husband and I started our small company in 1977 and have steadily grown the company to the extent that we now employ 8 (including ourselves and our son) and a trainee.
We have grave concerns about the “Fair Work Australia” complex regulations and awards when we compare them to the former State “Wholesale Trades Award” that our staff were formerly working under.
This new supposed “simpler, fairer and more democratic system” has been forced onto employers such as ourselves. I may be incorrect here but my understanding was this was an initiative of Julia Gillard and during the past week that this portfolio is to pass to Simon Crean. I find the system confusing, complex, time consuming, unfair to our staff and certainly none of the things it is purported to be by our new PM.
We have spent many hours of our valuable time in the past 6 months, attempting to interpret what new awards our 8 staff members should be transferred to from 1st July 2010 from the old State award. We have spent wasted hours on the phone trying to contact “Fair Work” - a useless waste of time with a young man who had no idea how to advise me. He came up with 2 suggestions but had no idea how we dealt with sales personnel wages. We have spent hours searching the website to see if we could work it out from the supposedly “simpler, fairer and more democratic system” website, but are still totally confused!
I rang FWA, I think around 9:30am this morning in regards to new pay rates etc to ensure we would be paying our employees correctly from July 1. I was told the introductory rate in the MA 000009 award was $15 - that part is correct. A 25% loading is applicable for casual employees which makes the Mon - Fri rate $18-75 per hour - that is correct. Then I was told the Saturday rate would be $18-75 plus 150% = $28-125 & then add the 2 together to get the hourly rate - $46-87. I said that could not possibly be right but he was adamant that was correct. I tried to explain I thought it would be the base rate of $15 plus the 150% giving an hourly rate of $22-50 but was told under the new modern award the rate would be $46-87. On his figures a level 2 Guest Services officer would be on in excess of $50 per hour for a Saturday. That was when I gave up.
I work as a casual nurse in a medical centre but because I work the same shifts every week as of the 1st July my employer has told me under the new award he has to either put me on permanent part time or I find maybe a new job. I am unable to change my hours as I already work permanent part time and fixed hours for another medical centre. I wish to stay casual the way I am employed at the moment. If I have to leave I will loose hundreds of dollars a year, that, I can not afford to lose.
We had a $350.00 a week mortgage, 2 children, 3 years and 1 years, of age, the youngest was very ill, with numerous medical issue that required treatment at Randwick Kids Hospital on a regular basis, nearly 3 ½ hours away. And still does. No assistance from Centrelink except Family benefit. Trying to live on that ridiculous amount of money was unfair, but as the saying goes the battler always stands tall in the end, and mate we are battlers.
In 2007 my husband was offered a cleaning contract and we fought with the insurance company to let us run with this business, they were sceptical and we GREW our little business from the ground UP. We started as a partnership and we were being offered contracts from word of mouth and not having to apply for them. In Oct 2009 we won a contract based on the Federal AWARD (AN120123) at the time, and we now employ 11 staff including my husband and myself, we both work in the field and not just run or supervise the staff that work WITH us and not for us.
When i looked at the awards there weren’t any penalty rates, it was a flat rate of $19.45 p.h
Now since FAIR WORK have changed things to make it FAIR and JUST I can see that they didn’t have the employer in mind at all especially those of small business.
At this point in time we CANT continue to run our business, if we did we would be running at a LOSS, therefore we believe our only option to keep OUR head above water is to terminate 5 employees that work with us and average approx. between 18hrs and 30hrs each per week, and reduce our contracts, getting rid of 3 of them.
We are very concerned that the penalty rates in the modern award will eventually destroy our business and therefore deny our local community the service which we provide 365 days and nights a year. We don't understand why the government will no longer allow multiple or individual business agreements after the ones which are currently applying expire. The deputy prime minister said that no business would be financially disadvantaged by modernisation but our business will be forced to accommodate a 25% increase in its wage bill - an impossible task.
Award modernisation will, by 2014, increase our wage bill by a base amount of 25% which, compounded by normal wage increases will result in a 50 % or probably larger increase. That will make our business unviable. We would be forced to reduce our trading hours to 9am -6pm weekdays and Saturday 9am-1pm.One third of our staff would hence lose their jobs. The new laws make it almost impossible to employ people as casuals even though they wish to be. The many students we employ cannot apply for permanent part-time positions because of their lecture times and study loads. Flexibility is greatly reduced which makes rostering extremely difficult. It seems ridiculous to us that this legislation threatens to destroy what the community wants, our staff want and we want.
My kids will no longer be able to walk into a small business in Pakenham and get after school work, unless that business runs until 6:30 or later. (Like a fast food outlet or newsagent) On the other hand, my small toy shop will no longer employ juniors after school in Warragul. Both are big enough to have Maccas and KFC etc but they are also not big enough to allow those types of business to employ every kid that wants to work after school. Also kids can't be expected to work late on school nights so the shifts available will be limited. Then there are towns like Tynong, These towns will only have maybe 2 business that stay open late on week nights...The local milk bar and the Pub, The milk bar will be family run and not employ a junior and the pub can't. Effectively stopping work experience for kids all over the country.
I was made redundant in November last year, and was assigned ITEC as my employment service provider, this consisted of a 15 minute interview once a month, were I was offered no assistance, the only assistance they gave was to cost me a job after contacting a prospective employer, and telling them I would be unsuitable for a position, that required a gantry ticket, that they refused to offer financial support for me to obtain. I was prepared to pay for the ticket myself in an effort to gain employment. I then rang the DEWR and changed employment provider to Neato, They cancelled the appointment that the DEWR had arranged on 5/5/10 and arranged an interview on 20/5/10, more than 2 weeks later. Currently I am under going training for a HR license at my expense, which I will have by the end of this month, when I will be travelling to Western Australia in an effort to find employment dump truck driving, again at my expense. I find it ridicules that I receive no assistance from these people to find employment, then when I do get myself employed, they receive a large financial benefit, for a 15 minute interview, plus my travel time (and parking expenses) once a month, time which would be better spent getting myself a job, and money which would be of better use assisting me in that endeavour. When I was working and paying tax, I assumed that money would be, spent wisely, not wasted on lazy, greedy organisations.
Since The Fairness Test commenced in May 2007 we have suffered greatly. We have had to reduce our staff from 40 to 30 & I have had to work 18 hours per day 7 days per week to fill in for the staff that we could no longer afford to employ.
If penalty rates had not been re-introduced we would have opened a third bakery & we would now be employing 60 people instead of 30.
The small business owners like myself have been overlooked by Labour. I am not a rich guy sitting behind a big desk smoking a cigar. I am just a worker like all of my employees except to provide their jobs I have to work all day every day without the same rights & protections that they enjoy.
Penalty rates are the big enemy of small business & the Australian economy.
Before we had to pay penalty rates everyone made some money & my family & I could enjoy some sort of lifestyle. Since we were forced to pay penalty rates, my life has been a hell of constant work & it has cost me my marriage as my wife left me & took my kids. I understand her point of view because I am forced to work all day every day with no time for normal family things.
This is typical of most small business owners. We make great personal sacrifices to provide goods & services to the public & opportunities for training & income for so many Australians.
I just thought you should know exactly how appaling the national award system is right now. Currently I’m looking to take on a trainee software tester. Currently that falls under the national training Wage (Tasmanian Private Sector) Award which clearly outlines what I’m required to pay. That’s supposed to change on the 1/7/2010. No one can tell me what will happen with that at all, if wage freeze continues or if I’m going to be up for a bunch more. They (Fair Work Australia) cannot even tell me when they will know. Basically, it means I’m seriously re-thinking taking on a trainee at all because of the uncertainty.
We would like to express our concerns with the implementation of the modernised awards. This process has resulted in several of our managers, who have traditionally been covered by common law contracts, being forced to move to awards. The flexibility provision under the award restricts those clauses which can be negotiated, and as a result we have managers who feel demoted and devalued by moving from a salaried arrangement to award based classification. Amendments to awards since the 1st of January 2010, coupled with a lack of clarity regarding the scope of the Miscellaneous Award until early December has created a lack of confidence in the new system. We would suggest that given this lack of clarity, implementation should have been delayed and not doing so has created both confusion amongst employees and an unreasonable burden on business.
Last year, our employees were covered by Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA’s) and received above award pay and conditions. Many of our employees have been with us since our business inception in 1997. All of our employees were happy with their current conditions. We were advised last year by various people that we should move to Enterprise Agreements. We agreed that eventually we have to move to such agreements as our AWA’s were due to expire and EA’s were the only option under Fair Work Australia. The EA is now in place and NONE of my staff is any better off. We have gone through a disruptive and expensive process to achieve NOTHING.
The burden of the Award and National Employment Standards will be causing us to reduce our operating hours, now closing on Sundays and public holidays. Clients who suffer sporting or back injuries on the weekends will now be directed towards their local hospital emergency service. It seems incongruous that on the one hand Government hospitals are struggling with health costs and overcrowding, and at the same time are demanding work conditions for employees that will contribute to the closure of private health services on weekends. Plus with the increased burden of ‘excessive’ conditions for employees, whilst at the same time demanding that take home pay not be reduces, we will be reconsidering our staff requirements. We cannot afford to provide such generous conditions and will need to make positions redundant.”
A prime promise has been broken by the Rudd Government that no worker would be disadvantaged under Fair Work, when from July 1 workers in the bar and funeral trades will be reduced in hourly pay and lose some of their conditions. This is hardly a fair cop.
Daily Telegraph 9/3/10
Last year I wrote twice to the Minister to seek clarification as to the precise meaning of the phrase “a business with fewer than 15 employees at a particular point of time...Neither the Minister’s office, nor the FWO Hotline has been able to answer my question which is important information for any small business...people employed to provide advice via a Hot Line should be able to do so, and if not able to do so, prepared to assist in finding the answer, not rudely disconnect the phone call seeking help.
As I leave the company, I do have concerns about the direction in which the implementation of the new IR system is heading. The new Fair Work Act is being interpreted in a way that reduces workplace flexibility born of 25 years of reform and which will constrain the workplace dialogue over the years ahead. This contemporary interpretation will constrain innovation and, over the long haul, create new productivity sinks in Australian industry.
Don Argus - Former BHP Chairman - The Australian 25/3/10
Aged Care and Social and community Services home care and Disabilities members may be aware that on 1 January this year the operation of the new National modern Awards came into effect... The resultant changes associated with the introduction of the awards has caused significant confusion and angst amongst members.
Health and Community Services Union Tasmania.
Last night my daughter lost her after school work at the local deli in Port Augusta. The reason that her employment was terminated was because she can only work 2 hours shifts after school. Her normal work hours are 4pm until the deli closes at 6pm. I understand that it is now the government work place arrangement that 2 hour shifts are not to be worked. I feel that the workplace ruling is destroying the work ethic of young people.
ACTU vice-president, Linda White, said the award modernisation process had been "soul-destroying". She lashed out at a new Fair Work Australia ruling that she said risked leaving thousands of her members in the airline industry worse off. "Our safety net has been lowered and it is because of the government's award modernisation process," she said. "While the government may not have wanted this to occur, unfortunately their system has let this happen.
ACTU vice-president, Linda White: The Australian 1/3/10.
As an employer of approaching 250 people in Tasmania, it is very difficult to get a solution in particular to Restaurant Trading. Most regional restaurant businesses in any township with a population of less that 100,000 will go under if a sensible workplace agreement cannot be reached in relation to weekend trading and public holidays. Some restaurants have agreements in place which are expiring, some have a four year period in which they must increase rates by 80% or 20% a year and some are simply closing on public holidays and Sundays. If we cannot reach agreement by June 30th 2010 the business at weekends is unstainable which will probably force us to close the business for the winter period and potentially the restaurant itself for the longer term.
We employ two students each twice a week for 1.5 hours, we also employ them on the weekends, so there is no way we exploit these students in any way, however we are not prepared to pay them 3 hours pay for 1.5 hours work so we have terminated these hours. Once again this government has not thought through its policies and have penalised country and working class people.
We are seeking support to protect the jobs of school age part-time/casual workers and in doing so point out how impractical the minimum three hours shifts are for many students and businesses... We have up to eight young people that fall into this category... It is quite difficult for a three hour shift on week days, particularly in country areas where the only businesses that can actually offer this are places like McDonalds, KFC etc, and these businesses have limited jobs available.
There has been a lot of confusion concerning the new award system. Most people don’t seem to know what’s going on or which “modern” award applies to their business
-Independent Contractors of Australia
I have been employed in the Caring industry for 11 years in a variety of positions. I was permitted to work as many hours as I chose, but now under this new federal government legislation my maximum standard working has been cut to a very limited 38 hours or less per week as a casual employee. I have been informed by my company that they are not allowed to roster me on overtime until they have exceeded their entire permanent part time employees list. Hence as a carer, under this new legislation I have been vastly affected by the number of hour I am now able to work.
Under the new Fair work legislation it would appear that I too will be worse off than I was under my old award. Previously, as a part time permanent employee, worlking a 32 hour week in the NSW Club industry, if a public holiday fell on my usual rostered day off I was paid a pro rata payment of 6.4 hours for public holiday not worked. Now, even though the Modern Award clasue 10.4 (a)(ii) provides that a part-time employee receives on a pro-rata basis,equivalent pay & conditions to those of full-time employees who do the same kind of work.It would seem that the National Employment Standards, Sec 56 removes this payment. I would suggest that this makes me worse off under the Prime Ministers new workplace legislation.
Businesses in Broken Hill are having difficulty transitioning to the New Award System. There is inconsistency seeping in to the making of the awards. For example the Business equipment Award had a broken Hill allowance of $28.80 prior to becoming a modern award and it is our understanding that the allowance will be transitioned out in 5 years. Now Hairdressing's MA has just been amended to include a clause for broken Hill and it defines the allowance for businesses in the County of Yancowinna. business Broken Hill believes the allowance is detrimental to growth of businesses and trading in our community.
I heard on local radio today that free Industrial Relations seminars on Fair Work Australia are being held in my area - Grafton. I consulted the website and discovered to my astonishment that all the seminars in my area were full - the next ones being available in May 2010. I then spoke with a call centre person who infomred me that there are a whole 3 people qualified to speak about this Fair Work Fiasco in the whole state.
I have contacted Fair Work on 6 occasions to ask for clarification of Compassionate Leave with the definition of Life threatening. My employer being a small business cannot afford to hire consultants to help discipher the Fair Work Act. My employer is considering downsizing staff levels as she cannot afford this.
Monday afternoon I had the pleasure of dialling 131394 Fair Work Australia to gather and obtain information pertaining to Long Service Leave provisions, unfortunately the message and data information that I was constrained to listen to was, for me un-productive and a waste of my time. I made the phone call at approximately 1400hrs WST, the recording offered several options, on selecting the option required I was informed that there was a large number of callers before me and I was offered the options of sourcing the web page, or ringing back later.To top it off, when the message had finished I was hung-up on, further I was disappointed in having to listen to all the information only to realise an end gain of frustration and loss of productivity at my end.
I run a tutoring company with my husband. We operate on an hourly basis with students booking one hourly sessions with a tutor. This means Students book a one hour session with a tutor we charge for a one hour session. The new work choices which are supposed to be so "flexible" means that we are unable to operate within the law. We are now required to pay a minimum of 3 hours to a tutor - who by choice only want to work 1 or 2 hours per night of work. The majority of our Tutors are university students paying their way through university. We pay well above award and have to be totally flexible to our tutors needs as they require every holiday off to study and are limited to the amount of hours they work - due to their own study committments. We of course cannot charge the student for Tutor time they are not receiving and we cannot pay a tutor for time they are not teaching a student. As a small business how are we to survive when we cannot work in the industry for which we are trained. We are flexible to our student and tutor requirements - this is our business. The government has now tied our hands and will in effect take us out of business - tell me how is that flexible?
I have a disabled daughter and we find getting respite very difficult. Yed wages for people who work in this area are being cut. i know that people are leaving the workforce because of the money and the changed working conditions. Women who used to work getting clients out of bed, showered etc of a morning and go back later in the day to put these same clients to bed are unable to do so because of award changes. Because their work day would extend more than 12 hours. They have chosen to do these split shifts.They cannot make enough money working either mornings or evenings so they are looking for alternative employment. It is only February and I know two women that have left their NGO organisation to do alternative work. We are losing so much experience.I have written to M's Gillard and have not had an answer at this time.
My wife and I usually work 9.5 hours a day each - 7 days a week ( 66.5 hrs) when needed to do Orchard work. NOW - we are made to work a 38 hr week BECAUSE of this new RUDD penalty rates stuff up. The farmers cannot afford to pay the penalty rates - we have lost 28.5 hrs each per week because of this.That means we are $433.20 each worse off.
I have been in full time employment in NSW for 49 years and 29 years in TAFENSW. The greatest attack on my work conditions, in that time have come from this NSW Labor government with support from the Federal Labor.I have emailed Julie Owens and Michal Richardson my federal and state members outlining anger with LABOR's WORKCHOICES
Under the clothing Trades award 1999 a casual employee is paid 1/38th of the weekly award wage plus a loading of 33-1/3% [Clause 18.3]. Under the Textile Clothing, Footwear & Associated Industries Award 2010 [Clause 14.3] a casual employee will be paid 1/38th of the weekly award wage plus a loading of 25% Unless there is something noted elsewhere in the award this means that these workers get a pay cut of 7%. Do I recall someone in high office saying that no one would be worse off under the new awards? Now you may call me weak, but I do not want to tell my casual staff they are now 7% worse off because of the political party that supports working families It will be mentioned to them, but it will also be mentioned that we do not see it as fit and proper to reduce their pay
Before Xmas we received a letter advising us that the method of working out our entitlements would be changed BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES would we be worse off. Today I found out that we will be worse off by approx $4000 pa. We were also told that there is nothing we can do about it, too bad, call your local MP.
When you talk about jobs, these modern awards will make businesses like mine where its recognised returns and margins are tight shrink the work force not expand it. Already I am trying to squeeze hours out of the business to balance the books. Hospitality and catering is traditionally the breeding ground for the workforce of tomorrow many many people start their working lives in fast food & restaurants. We employ many youngsters aged 15 to 18 and many students. Of the 300 I have employed for instance. Some 75 % live at home still. I would employ more people not less to give better service given incentives to do so. Payroll tax is an issue for me and many businesses like mine we are entrepreneurial in creating jobs but this again stifles them. How can you square that circle having a tax to employ someone !. Especially in these economic times. Having worked overseas where its generally recognised that hospitality workers in some restaurants (not all I concede) bring in a third, fourth wage into the household the wage dynamic is more open for negotiation between the employer and employee. Our employees typically are not the ones paying rent, rates and such like and trying to provide for families they are supplementing the family budget if anything easing the burden for parents so we should be trying to get more of them into work not less. My point is not to say they will not get a decent rate it's to say this constant upping of the minimum living wage makes it harder to offer more jobs. Currently the base rates are not yet finally set for the modern award they are likely to rise before the July 1st implementation trigger for the next phase. Already I'm looking at who, what I can do to cut more hours from the business. The government's original intention with Modern Awards was not to increase costs for business or erode wages, but the former will eventuate.
On Friday February 5, 2010 the front cover of The Australian newspaper ran a feature article describing how 6 youths aged between 16 and 18 were sacked because the Fair Work Act will not let them work less than three hours per day. We employ students in the same age bracket in our office after school. Our office is typically open between 9-5 Monday to Friday. But to accommodate students we stay open till 5-6pm. The students love the work and during school holidays we give them extra hours. They help us pack stock and perform various administrative tasks. Unfortunately, it is not feasible or financially viable for us to employ them for a minimum of 3 hours per shift.
Rudd's 10 point policy regarding his reform on Fair Work is an absolout joke and unfortunately the joke is on the employer. How can we possibly base ay pay structure when we have to abide by 5 Awards?
Under the new Fair work legislation it would appear that I too will be worse off than I was under my old award. Previously, as a part time permanent employee, worlking a 32 hour week in the NSW Club industry, if a public holiday fell on my usual rostered day off I was paid a pro rata payment of 6.4 hours for public holiday not worked. Now, even though the Modern Award clasue 10.4 (a)(ii) provides that a part-time employee receives on a pro-rata basis,equivalent pay & conditions to those of full-time employees who do the same kind of work.It would seem that the National Employment Standards, Sec 56 removes this payment. I would suggest that this makes me worse off under the Prime Minister's new workplace legislation.
As of 1 January 2010 my Salary was reduced by $440 per fortnight as a result of my employers interpretation of the new Fair Work Australia Laws.
Here are some facts:
- I work Part time 55 hrs per fortnight, for a local Government Council, having commenced this employment on 1 October 2007.
- I am covered by an Enterprise Bargining Agreement (EBA) which meets all the minimum standards listed in the National Employment Standards.
- My EBA allows me to take a 25% loading in lieu of annual and sick leave.
- On 1 January 2010 my employer removed this loading and reinstalled leave entitlements.
- This resulted in a reduction of my fortnightly salary of $440.
- I had based my financial committments around this salary and was immediatly under financial pressure to re-negotiate loans etc.
- I immediatly contacted our Human Resourses Department to convey my protest at the changes.
- No help was given from my employer so I contacted the Hon Ms Julia Gillards office as well as Ms Natalie James (Legal Council) Fair Work Ombudsman and recieved a reply in writing which I presented to my employer who made no offer to change the current situation.
- I now have a hearing next week with a Commissioner from Fair Work Australia and my employer to try to resolve this issue.
This legislation is a mess in that it should have prevented and or accommodated for the detrimental effects it has on employees.
Comments from Dean Mighell (Secretary, Electrical Trades Union), Radio 3AW interview with Neil Mitchell. Noting that the following comments are from a union that contributed so much to the ALP and were promised so much from Labor and who now say Labor has betrayed them.
" Many people took Labor at its word, said we won"t be worse off, but this award modernisation programme is causing a lot of grief for a lot of people, and Labor's very sensitive to it. It's an ultimate betrayal."... Dean Mighell. (3AW 11/2/10)
"Everyone will remember Tracy, the highly stressed working mother who featured in the ACTU Your Rights at Work TV ads. Well, Tracy, if you still work in a workplace with fewer than 15 employees you can still be sacked unfairly and, worse, your basic award conditions have been reduced under Julia Gillard's modernisation program."... Dean Mighell. (Age 11/2/10)
Since July 2009, my shop has been visited by unions on seven occasions. My staff don't want to join the union and they are treated well. I've checked it out and there is nothing I can do to stop this. The visits don't help and I give very good money and conditions to my staff, but the union man still keeps coming in and there is nothing I can do to stop this. It's my business and I feel powerless.
My husband I have run a small company in Launceston since 1977. We were joined in the business by our son in 1990. The balance of our staff are a Warehouse Manager/Phone Sales person, warehouse worker, office clerk, a casual clerk who works from her home (she has a 6 mths old baby), a commercial traveler/phone salesperson and a part time person doing clerical and vendor refills at hardware stores. My husband is sales and marketing manager, my son overall business manager and I handle finances.Since commencing our business in 1977 we have come under the Wholesale Trades Award. This award provided us with awards covering the wage structure for all our classifications of employees such as warehouse, clerical, phone sales, commercial travelers with relevant conditions for staff under that award.We received notification yesterday that as of 1st January 2010 we now need to contact the Fair Work Federal website to assess what award we should now work under for our staff. Apparently we must begin to use a new award as from 1st July 2010 for our staff. Having looked at this site I found it totally confusing! I was simply advised that I would find all the answers on the Fair Work website! What rubbish!I have now wasted 2 days of my valuable time trying to find an equivalent award under the new system to provide me with the information. To us it has so far been a nightmare and no doubt my frustrations must be being repeated by many others at this time!
The paycheck on the FWA website does not provide the correct information. I have tried to find the correct wages for all my employee categories and in all instances, it is not providing the correct information. I have sent an email to the FWO and following is a copy. The paycheck feature on your website is not providing the correct wage information for my employees. Our employees under the Baking Industry Award of Tasmania are:
Full Time Qualified Pastrycook Level 5 Employee, full Time Adult Shop Assistant Level 4 Employee, junior Casual Shop Assistant pro rata Level 4 Employee. We have had official notification from your office that as a bakery, we are under the General Retail Award. When we enter pastry cook qualified in your paycheck, neither of the above awards come up. When we enter Adult shop assistant, Level 4 employee under the Baking Industry Award does not come up. When we enter Junior shop assistant, the Baking Industry Award does not come up at all and the wage rates that come up are less than what we are paying. If you do not correct this information, there will be a lot of small businesses held liable for paying the wrong wages. Even an error of $1 an hour can equate to $1500 a year. As a small business we cannot afford to pay for your mistakes
I run a newsagent and employ three people. Under our new award, my wages costs have gone up over 10%. Its basically the same award as before, but with higher penalties and less flexibility. Now I have to work on Sunday as I just can't afford to pay the extra money to have my staff work anymore. I am unhappy as I lose time with my family, and my staff miss out on the extra weekend work.
I sacked a worker because his cash register was always short of money at the end of his shift. I only have 5 staff, but I still ended up in the industrial commission. Even though I was in the right, the commission told me it'd be easier to just pay my worker some money and settle the claim, as it would cost me thousands in legal fees. I will think twice before replacing him with a new worker. There are too many risks.
I am a teacher employed as a Director at a child care centre.
I am being forced to use a new award because of Fair Work Australia. My old award was Teachers (Non-government Early Childhood Service Centres other
than pre-schools) (State) Award 2006 [AN120545-NSW). The new award is Educational Services(Teachers) Award 2010.The new award (section 24) says personal leave is provided for in the NES i.e. ie days paid personal leave per year. The old award (section 7.1) says 15 days paid personal leave in the first year of employment and 25 days paid personal leave for the second and subsequent years of employment.
I spoke to one of the consultants at the Workplace Infoline and he said I will lose my personal leave entitlements of 25 paid days and will have to accept 10.
Regardless what you think about the number of paid personal leave days under the old award, the fact is it's a loss of entitlements. It doesn't seem very fair work for me.