MEDIA RELEASE: No evident problem, so no unanimous solution

11 May 2018


No evident problem, so no unanimous solution

Canberra Business Chamber has called on the ACT Government to restate its commitment to workplace relation’s powers sitting with the Commonwealth, following the failure of a cross-party Legislative Assembly committee to agree that additional jurisdictional regulation is required.

“The Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs always faced an uphill battle in its Inquiry into the Extent, Nature and Consequence of Insecure Work in the ACT as there is no evidence that insecure work in the ACT is an issue to the extent that would make placing an additional regulatory burden on business a reasonable response,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry explained.

In its submission, Canberra Business Chamber highlighted the lack of evidence that modern employment arrangements, such as the introduction of labour hire, have resulted in ACT businesses avoiding their workplace and statutory obligations.

“The Productivity Commission has estimated that only 1.8 per cent of Australia’s workforce are employed through labour hire arrangements,” Ms Hendry said. “The dissenting report released today pointed out that the Committee received no formal evidence of sham contracting or unscrupulous practices relating to labour hire in the ACT.

“However, there have been isolated incidents of people working in the ACT not receiving their full entitlements.

“Therefore, the Chamber supports, as it has stated in the past, providing more support and information for students – particularly international students – vulnerable employees, and people working in Australia on a visa.

“All employees in Australia, whether engaged on a casual, full-time or part-time basis, must be paid at, or above, the relevant rates noted in the modern award or enterprise agreement as relevant to their employment”.

“In our experience, ACT businesses strive to understand their responsibilities and to meet them. This was clearly shown by the submissions and evidence presented to the Committee. For this reason, the Committee was unable to unanimously identify a significant problem that needs to be fixed.”

Media Contact: Robyn Hendry, CEO Canberra Business Chamber 0418 462 151