16 Apr 2018

Reports today highlight the continued use of exploitative zombie WorkChoices agreements under the Turnbull Government, ten years after WorkChoices was abolished. 
According to the ABC,  lawyers and unions have estimated that tens of thousands of Australians are stuck in WorkChoices agreements and are often unaware that their entitlements don’t meet the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT). This is consistent with what Labor hears when talking to workers across the country. This is why Labor has committed to abolishing all zombie WorkChoices agreements if elected.

It is very clear that Turnbull and his Liberals have taken no action to uncover or abolish zombie WorkChoices agreements, because they want people to remain on them.

Showing his lack of understanding of the system, the junior Minister for Employment, Craig Laundy thinks no change is necessary, telling the ABC that the current mechanism for abolishing WorkChoices agreements is an “effective avenue”. 

This callous disregard for workers is hardly surprising, considering he was the director of a number of companies that put in place WorkChoices agreements that the FWC had to throw out because they were fundamentally unfair.

The Minister is so naïve as to think that he can simply encourage employees who think they may be worse off to apply to the Fair Work Commission. 

Labor understands the difficulties for employees to apply to terminate WorkChoices era agreements – particularly those in precarious employment, worried about losing their jobs. 

That is why Labor has committed to putting an end to fundamentally unfair zombie WorkChoices agreements. 
It is past time for the Government to match Labor’s commitment and put an end to these outdated and progressively exploitative agreements once and for all.

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