Aged care body raises concerns over industrial relations bill

The Government’s 249-page Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill introduced to Parliament yesterday has raised concern with employer groups, including the Aged & Community Care Providers Assoc (ACCPA) who have questioned the timeline for consultation given interested parties need to make their submissions by November 11.

According to the government, the bill is designed to help improve wages by allowing workers in mostly low-paid sectors to negotiate a single-pay deal across multiple employers. The bill is designed to replace the current low-paid bargaining authorisations.

Of particular concern to employers is that the bill abandons previous enterprise bargaining by allowing the Fair Work Commission to authorise workers with commonality to bargain together across multiple employers, where it is in the public interest to do so.

The reform is of relevance to aged care and community services where employees work across different sites and employers.

In a statement released today, “ACCPA is currently undertaking a detailed review of the legislation and plans to consult its members as soon as possible.

“One early concern is the notion that employers can be compelled into bargaining they have not consented to, which threatens to upend the traditional employer-worker relationship which relies on genuine bargaining.

“We are seeking more time to examine the implications of these and other changes for the aged care sector so that our members are fully informed.”

The Coalition has stated that they will oppose the bill.

The workplace relations minister, Tony Burke has said that the door is open to amendments as part of the consultation process.


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