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By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier   Hoteliers and the wider hospitality industry are on edge, as they await more details in regards to the Federal Government’s 457 visa replacement. Yesterday (Tuesday), Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the scrapping of the 457 visa program, stating: “We are ensuring that Australian jobs and Australian values are first, placed first. During the press conference, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, announced that 457 visa will be replaced with two alternate visas, that do not foster as much agency for permanent residency. “What we propose is that under the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa, with the options of two-years, but there would not be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that. “In relation to the medium-term stream, which as the Prime Minister pointed out, is targeted at higher skills, a much shorter skills list, that will be for a period of four years, can be applied for onshore or offshore, and it's a significant tightening of the way in which that programme operates. According to the Department of Immigration, in 2014 cooks represented the third-largest usage of the 457 visa, after software/application programmers and general practitioners and residential medical officers. The AHA has called on the Government to ensure that the needs of the hospitality industry are met within the new visa program. “The hospitality industry is growing at unprecedented rates at the present and the demand for skilled labour is at all-time highs with this complete transformation of Australia’s hotel industry,” said AHA CEO, Stephen Ferguson. Indeed, the Government’s own Australian Tourism Labour Force Report estimated that the tourism and hospitality sector will require an additional 123,000 workers by 2020, including 60,000 skilled positions. “Australia’s hospitality sector has responded with a wide range of training and career development programs, but with such a rapid increase in tourism it is impossible to meet the demand for skilled labour in the short-term through local channels, especially in regional and remote Australia.” With the exact details of the new Temporary Short- and Medium-Term Visa programs, yet to be revealed, most hoteliers are withholding judgment at this stage, but a few were wary of the additional strain the scrapping of the 457 visa would place on finding kitchen staff. “I am still waiting to hear the finer detail about the announcement from Turnbull so as to fully understand the implications of this for the hospitality sector. But on face value, it does not seem to be founded in a sound consideration of the facts attributable to the current skills shortages being experienced in the hospitality sector,” opined Christian Denny, licensee of Hotel Harry and The Dolphin. For Angela Gallagher, group general manager of Gallagher Hotels, the replacement of the 457 visa program will create another hurdle in finding quality staff. Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout. 
[post_title] => Hospitality industry reacts to 457 visa scrapping [post_excerpt] => Chefs third most sought after under visa program. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hospitaliy-industry-reacts-457-visa-scrapping [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-21 11:14:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-21 01:14:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26966 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26914 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-04-18 11:24:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-18 01:24:15 [post_content] =>

By Claire Hibbit 
Exploitation of workers cannot be stamped out if the settings remain the same, warns Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James. In her opening address to give evidence before the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017, James said that despite the successes the Ombudsman has had, “stories continue to emerge”. “For every one we take to court, there are others we cannot take action against and still others we do not even know about because people are too scared to report them to us,” James said. “These cases reflect badly on our country and on the majority of employers who are trying to do the right thing.” The Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill introduces new civil penalties for ‘serious contraventions’ which are ten times higher than those currently set out in the Act. This Bill contains a number of measures that would adjust the settings in the Fair Work Act. The measures draw on the References Committee’s report on Australia’s temporary work visa programs, as well as the Fair Work Ombudsman’s work in this area, especially its inquiry into worker exploitation throughout the 7-Eleven network. Read more here.
This story first appeared in INCLEAN.  [post_title] => Fair Work Ombudsman backs Bill to support vulnerable workers [post_excerpt] => Something has to change, says Ombudsman. 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Acting Commonwealth Ombudsman Richard Glenn said that the online compliance intervention (OCI), which DHS launched in July 2016 and was expected to clawback up to $4 billion, could have been delivered and planned for better but that it was not fundamentally flawed. The OCI matched Tax Office employment data with Centrelink data and sent debt notices out when discrepancies were flagged.  What went wrong The Ombudsman’s report said poor service delivery was ‘a recurring theme’ in many complaints he had received. “Customers had problems getting a clear explanation about the debt decision and the reasoning behind it,” Mr Glenn said in the report. He noted that the compliance helpline number was not included on the initial debt letters and was difficult to find online, resulting in  long wait times because customers flooded general customer service lines instead. Once customers were through to a human being the response was not always helpful. “Service centre staff did not always have sufficient knowledge about how the OCI system works, highlighting a deficiency in DHS’ communication and training to staff.” The investigation concluded that DHS should have done better preparation before the scheme was rolled out and expanded, including speaking to staff and Centrelink customers. “The OCI is a complex automated system that was rolled out on a large scale within a relatively short timeframe. There will inevitably be problems with the rollout of a system of this scale," the report said.  “In our view, many of the OCI’s implementation problems could have been mitigated through better project planning and risk management at the outset. This includes more rigorous user testing with customers and service delivery staff, a more incremental rollout, and better communication to staff and stakeholders.” Mr Glenn said DHS’ did not consult all the relevant external stakeholders during key project planning stages and after the full rollout of the OCI, which he said was reflected “by the extent of confusion and inaccuracy in public statements made by key non-government stakeholders, journalists and individuals”. Mr Glenn said there should have been more manual support available to customers when they had questions, once the OCI was in motion, particularly for those most vulnerable. “A key lesson for agencies and policy makers when proposing to rollout large scale measures which require people to engage in a new way with new digital channels, is for agencies to engage with stakeholders and provide resources for adequate manual support during transition periods.  “Good public administration requires a transparent and open decision making process that clearly sets out the issues the person needs to address to challenge a decision and the findings of fact on which the decision is based. This principle continues to apply when decision making is automated.” The Ombudsman was also squeamish about the DHS automatically charging a ten per cent debt recovery fee to customers who had a debt and did not have a reasonable excuse for it. While acknowledging this practice was legal, Mr Glenn raised concerns for those customers who may not have had an adequate opportunity to provide a reasonable excuse, for example if they did not receive the initial letter, or did not understand the connection between having reasonable excuse and being charged a recovery fee. DHS no longer applies the fee automatically where there is no contact from the customer, or the customer says personal factors affected them and the fee is suspended while a review is under way. Letters are now sent by registered post. “[DHS] now provides clearer information and further invitation to provide a reasonable excuse in debt notification letters. We have recommended that, in certain cases, DHS review those debts where the recovery fee was previously applied," the report added.  But although the Ombudsman said the process could have been easier to navigate, more transparent and decisions made easier to challenge he did not attack the reasoning behind the program. Mr Glenn said that although one-fifth of Centrelink Robodebts were later challenged successfully by clients after they supplied extra information, this should not be called an ‘error rate’. He said this figure was consistent with that associated with manual debt investigation and the data matching process was not at fault. Neither did he criticise the ATO practice of averaging income out over a person’s employment period, which could result in some people’s income being overstated and debt notices being issue by Centrelink, although he said this should be explained to Centrelink customers.  “We are also satisfied that if the customer can collect their employment income information and enter it properly into the system, or provide it to DHS to enter, the OCI can accurately calculate the debt. “After examination of the business rules underpinning the system, we are satisfied the debts raised by the OCI are accurate, based on the information which is available to DHS at the time the decision is made.” [post_title] => Centrelink Robodebt: Human Services off the hook? [post_excerpt] => But Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report cites poor service delivery. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26860 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-10 16:51:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-10 06:51:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26860 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26832 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-06 14:50:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-06 04:50:22 [post_content] =>   Exasperated staff at Human Services will intensify strikes at Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support from Thursday next week in an attempt to break the three-year deadlock with the federal government over pay and conditions and sign a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members begin two weeks of industrial action from Thursday April 13 until April 26 with longer strikes between 7am and 8.30pm, except for April 13. These are rolling strikes, which means strikers can chose to strike for as little as half an hour or for their entire shift. Recent strikes have involved shorter periods of time, from 1.30pm to 8.30pm or 12.30pm to 8.30pm. Human Services and the CPSU appear to be no closer to a resolution and a new agreement than they were last year, despite the Fair Work Commission overseeing the discussions. DHS staff have already voted down agreements three times: by 83 per cent in September 2015; 80 per cent in February 2016 and 74 per cent in November 2016. CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said a fortnight of strikes in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support showed how frustrated workers were. “We’re talking about thousands of people with bills to pay, many of them part-time working mums on around $40,000 a year,” Ms Flood said. “DHS workers really aren’t asking for much. All they want to do is hold on to rights and conditions that have been in place for many years and allow them to balance their working and family lives. She said ‘slow but steady’ progress made by other Commonwealth agencies but talks with DHS had achieved little. “Our team has worked tirelessly trying to negotiate through this mess with DHS management. Those talks are ongoing and are currently being overseen by the Fair Work Commission, but there’s been no movement from DHS’s bosses or in fact any sign whatsoever that they actually want to resolve this.” She said the strikes came at a period of high demand for DHS services and were expected to cause ‘significant disruption’ to the department and its clients. It is not known whether the strike will affect DHS’ Mobile Services, which are helping people get emergency help in flood-hit areas of Queensland. In the past, the Department has requested the union grant exemptions to strikes on the grounds they could cause unnecessary hardship to claimants and the CPSU said they had always agreed to these requests. A CPSU spokesperson said it was difficult to predict the effects of the two-week strike because it depended on DHS’ contingency plans as to where the impact would be felt. DHS General Manager Hank Jongen said that the strike action, which includes Easter and Anzac Day, was designed to disrupt DHS' face-to-face and telephone services. He said it was an attempt by the union to make it 'even harder' for people who used its services but that it would not succeed, predicting that the impact of the industrial action would be 'minimal' and there would no disruption to existing payments. "Our priority is ensuring that the those most vulnerable or with urgent queries get the support they need," Mr Jongen said. "People can also access services through myGov and the Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support mobile apps – these will not be affected by any stoppages." He said the union's actions would not change the department’s bargaining position around the new Enterprise Agreement. "The department and the CPSU are currently making progress in bargaining before the Fair Work CommissionWe are disappointed the union is initiating more industrial action while we continue to bargain in good faith. "In our most recent offer we committed to maintaining virtually all existing staff entitlements, including all our family friendly entitlements. We are also offering staff a pay rise that is both affordable and in line with community standards."   [post_title] => Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support staff step up strikes [post_excerpt] => DHS says bargaining position won't change. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26832 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-07 10:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-07 00:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26832 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26810 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-05 10:37:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-05 00:37:27 [post_content] =>   Chief Secretary's Building, which houses the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. Pic: Supplied.    Barrister Peter Kite SC has been appointed as the NSW Industrial Relations Commission‘s (IRC) first Chief Commissioner after the Supreme Court swallowed up the Commission’s judicial functions last year.   The IRC was pitched into controversy late last year after the state government decided to move its judicial functions from the Industrial Court to the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court, justifying it by saying the Industrial Court’s workload had fallen dramatically in the past decade from 766 matters in 2005 to 35 matters in 2015. The government attributed the reduction in litigation to the introduction of the national workplace relations system and changes which saw work health and safety prosecutions transferred to the NSW District Court in 2010. The Industrial Relations Amendment (Industrial Court) Bill 2016, which brought the changes into effect in November 2016, created a new Chief Commissioner to lead the IRC, bringing the number of commissioners to five, and moved the sole judge of the IRC’s Industrial Court, Justice Michael J Walton, to the Supreme Court. The government maintained the changes would make the process more efficient and allow litigation to be presided over by a more diverse range of judges. ​But some criticised the Supreme Court move, saying it would make cases more expensive and more intimidating for plaintiffs. Unions NSW argued that the Supreme Court was more used to hearing commercial or criminal cases, not industrial. Greens MP and former barrister David Shoebridge said at the time that the integration was “killing a specialist industrial tribunal through death by a thousand cuts”. Peter Kite SC, New Chief Commissioner of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. Pic: supplied.    The IRC has non-judicial functions like the arbitration of industrial disputes and setting wages and conditions of employment and judicial functions, such as determining unfair dismissal cases and underpayment of wages and superannuation appeals. It is an important body in NSW because it affects the employment pay and conditions of public servants like teachers, council workers, doctors in public hospitals, paramedics, nurses and police. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be hoping that the government can put past controversies behind it with the appointment of Mr Kite, who started his new job this week. Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Dominic Perrottet said Mr Kite brought a wealth of experience to the job. “Peter has been a senior industrial relations practitioner for more than three decades, and has served as Acting Deputy President of the IRC of New South Wales and Acting Judge of the Industrial Court of New South Wales,” Mr Perrottet said. “I have no doubt he will make a valuable contribution in leading the IRC here in NSW, and I wish him all the best in this role.” Mr Kite’s experience includes more than 30 years as a barrister specialising in industrial law and unfair contracts. He is also an accredited mediator with the NSW Bar Association. The Chief Commissioner will lead the IRC’s operations in resolving industrial disputes and settling employment conditions and remuneration for employees, primarily in the NSW public sector and local government. The role of Chief Commissioner replaces the former role of President of the IRC.                        [post_title] => NSW Industrial Relations Commission gets first Chief Commissioner [post_excerpt] => Supreme Court moves plays out. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26810 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-07 10:24:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-07 00:24:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26810 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26630 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-03-24 10:06:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-23 23:06:59 [post_content] =>

 

The National Retail Association (NRA) has warned that Labor’s private members bill to block the Fair Work Commission’s reduction in Sunday penalty rates, sets a dangerous precedent for all independent ruling bodies across the nation.NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that leveraging political interests to undermine the independence of the industrial relations system should sound alarm bells for everyone, regardless of their stance on penalty rates. “The Commission was created by the Labor Party so that the industrial relations system would be fair, equitable, and free from political interest,” Lamb said. “And yet, it’s now shaping up to be an election issue, amid a worrying campaign designed to undermine the FWC’s purpose and due process, not to mention the three years of submissions, hearings and deliberations it took to come to this decision. While we’d fully anticipated this issue would be politicised, the introduction of a private members bill to undermine the independence of the system, to quash the rule of law, is taking this issue far beyond mere political rhetoric,” she said.     Dominique Lamb.    Read more here.
This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer. [post_title] => Labor's penalty rate fight sets dangerous precedent [post_excerpt] => Undermines Fair Work, says retail peak body. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => labors-penalty-rate-fight-sets-dangerous-precedent-says-retail-peak-body [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-24 14:22:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-24 03:22:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26630 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26620 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-03-22 16:44:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-22 05:44:21 [post_content] => Shadow Human Services Minister Linda Burney.    The Shadow Minister for Human Services, Linda Burney, attacked the Turnbull government in Parliament last night over what she said was the ‘disgusting’ treatment of Department of Human Services’ (DHS) staff, who are still waiting for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) after three years. Ms Burney cut a lonely figure in Parliament – most members seemed to have gone home – but ploughed on, talking about the pay and working conditions dispute, which she said impacted disproportionately on women and families.   Empty chamber.    Women make up 70 per cent of DHS staff and around one-third of them work part-time. DHS is the largest government department with about 35,000 staff and runs Medicare, Centrelink and the Child Support network. “The proposed EBA gives employees no access to flexible, regular hours leaving rostering decisions to be made ad hoc by management,” Ms Burney said, adding that it made school drop off and picks up a nightmare, especially where work locations could change too. “Three years since the negotiations began, there has been no offer that addresses the years’ long wage freeze employees have been subjected to,” she said. She also heaped criticism on the government for blocking domestic violence leave and increasingly casualising the workforce. “Thirty-six million calls go unanswered. Seventy per cent of new staff hired were casuals in the last financial year,” she said. “It is incomprehensible that people that are under so much pressure and do such important work with the Department of Human Services are being treated so disgustingly by this government.” DHS staff who are union members began a series of rolling strikes last week after the Department and the Community and Public Sector Union reached an impasse at the Fair Work Commission over pay and working conditions. DHS staff have already rejected EBAs three times: By 83 per cent in September 2015; 80 per cent in February 2016 and 74 per cent in November 2016 and there seems no end in sight to the dispute. [post_title] => Burney calls out Turnbull government over treatment of DHS staff [post_excerpt] => Says women hit hardest. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26620 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-24 10:30:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-23 23:30:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26620 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26567 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-03-17 12:23:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-17 01:23:16 [post_content] =>     Today (Friday) is the first day of rolling strikes by staff at Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support Agency, as the union ramps up its fight for a new enterprise agreement for Human Services workers. Community and Public Service Union members (CPSU) begin a new round of strike action between 1.3 0pm and 8.30pm today in protest at what the union says is the federal government’s intractable stance on pay and working conditions, a dispute that has dragged on for three years. Asked how the strike would affect benefit claimants, a CPSU spokesperson said it was ‘difficult to predict’ what impact industrial action would have.  “Based on past strike action there may be increased wait times at customer service centres and for telephone queries,” the spokesperson said, describing the strike as 'open-ended'.  “The intention of the action is to pressure Department of Human Services’ (DHS) management and the Turnbull Government to fairly resolve enterprise bargaining.” He asked the public to be patient and advised them to access DHS services outside the notified strike times.  “DHS staff are taking this action because they’ve been fighting for a new agreement since 2013 and have gone well over three years without a pay rise,” he said. Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said customer payments would not be affected by the strikes but he added that there may be 'reduced numbers' of staff in service centres and on the phones. He said DHS was working hard to minimise disruption to services. “We’re asking customers to use the self-service options available through myGov and the Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support mobile apps,” Mr Jongen said. “We will have arrangements in place to make sure that staff will still be available to help those in financial hardship and who need immediate assistance.” The union postponed strikes in February in order to negotiate with the Department, talks mediated by the Fair Work Commission. When the talks came to nothing, strikes were back on the table. CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This protracted dispute had gone on for far, far too long. It’s bad for people working in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support, it’s bad for their families and it’s bad for the essential services our members in DHS provide. That’s why our members are going back on strike. “We agreed in February to hold off on taking fresh industrial action and instead proceed with negotiations overseen by the Fair Work Commission. The CPSU has negotiated in good faith but unfortunately DHS stands out from other Commonwealth agencies where we are making progress.” Mr Jongen presented a starkly different picture of how negotiations between the department and the CPSU were going, saying “we are making progress”. “In its most recent offer, the department has committed to maintaining virtually all existing staff entitlements, including all its family friendly entitlements, and giving its staff a pay rise that is both affordable and in line with community standards,” Mr Jongen said. “The department is, however, disappointed that the CPSU has initiated further industrial action while we continue to bargain before the Fair Work Commission.” He said the strikes would not alter the Department’s bargaining position and added that staff would have the chance to vote on a new enterprise agreement as soon as possible. Meanwhile Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) staff are awaiting the Fair Work Commission’s decision on their enterprise bargaining agreement, after the Commission stepped in at the end of last year to arbitrate between the union and the DIBP.   Want the latest public sector news delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up the Government News newsletter. [post_title] => Human Services’ ‘open-ended’ strikes begin today [post_excerpt] => It won’t change our stance, says Jongen. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => human-services-open-ended-strikes-begin-today [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-17 15:51:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-17 04:51:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26567 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26559 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-03-17 09:36:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-16 22:36:06 [post_content] => Big fine:  Soul Food in Narromine. Pic: Yelp.     By Danielle Bowling    A restaurant in regional NSW will back-pay more than $22,000 to 24 workers – including teenagers paid as little as $7 per hour –  following an audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors discovered the underpayments at Soul Food in Narromine, during an auditing campaign in the mid-western and northern regions of NSW last year. Inspectors found casual staff were paid between $7 and $20 an hour on weekdays and between $7 and $23 an hour on Saturdays, depending on their age. However, under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 at the time, the workers should have received ordinary hourly rates of between $11.06 and $22.76 on weekdays, and between $13.76 and $27.32 on Saturdays.   Read more here.   This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine.  [post_title] => Fair Work orders NSW restaurant to backpay $22k to workers [post_excerpt] => Teens paid as little as $7 an hour. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fair-work-orders-nsw-restaurant-backpay-22k-workers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-17 10:08:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-16 23:08:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26559 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26369 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-28 11:57:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-28 00:57:13 [post_content] => Kitchen Republik, Box Hill, Melbourne. Pic: Facebook.      By Danielle Bowling In less than nine months, a Melbourne restaurant underpaid a Taiwanese visa holder more than $30,000 in what the case’s judge referred to as “an egregious departure from the mandated minimum rates of pay.” Food Republic Australia Pty Ltd, the operators of the Taiwanese and Malaysian hawker-style restaurant now trading as Kitchen Republik in Box Hill, have been ordered to pay $107,551 after admitting to underpaying the worker with flat hourly rates of $10 and $11. The employee, in Australia on a 417 working holiday visa and speaking limited English, was 22 years old at the time and was underpaid $33,169 working as a kitchen hand between June and November 2014, and March and July 2015.   Read more here.  This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine.  [post_title] => Fair Work fines Melbourne restaurant $100k for underpaying Taiwanese visa holder [post_excerpt] => Worker underpaid $30k in less than nine months. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fair-work-fines-melbourne-restaurant-100k-underpaying-tiawanese-visa-holder [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-28 11:57:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-28 00:57:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26369 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26364 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-28 11:24:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-28 00:24:08 [post_content] =>     By Andy Young Hospitality industry groups have joined together in South Australia to call for a “draconian” proposal to drug and alcohol test staff in bars, hotels and restaurants to be withdrawn. The Australian Hotels Association SA, Clubs SA, SA Wine Industry Association, Clubs SA and Restaurant and Catering SA wrote a joint letter to MPs calling on the proposal, which was put forward by SA Police (SAPOL) to be withdrawn from the state’s review of its Liquor Licensing Act. In its submission to the Liquor Licensing Act review SAPOL called for random drug and alcohol testing of hospitality and wine workers to be introduced, with a zero-tolerance policy on staff test results. In addition it called for police to have the power to require bar staff to carry out a test and that it become an offence to resist testing, the industry groups have criticised the proposals as unjustified. In the letter, a copy of which has been obtained by TheShout, the industry groups said: "The State’s five Industry Associations representing Hotels, Hospitality, Independent Bottle shops, Bars, Late Night Entertainment Venues, Restaurants, Cafes, Caterers, Licensed Community Clubs, sporting facilities and the Wine Industry including cellar doors are unified in their opposition to the SAPOL ambition to have the legal capacity to randomly alcohol and drug test workers involved with the sale and supply of alcoholic beverages.    Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout.  [post_title] => Industry groups oppose SA cop's push for random drugs and alcohol tests on staff [post_excerpt] => Review of Liquor Licensing Act. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26364 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-28 15:59:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-28 04:59:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26364 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26355 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-27 17:41:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-27 06:41:23 [post_content] =>     On Thursday last week, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) confirmed its decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates from double time (200%) to time and a half (150%). It will come as no surprise that retailers are feeling pretty positive about the move.  Appliance Retailer spoke to a number of retailers from around the country who shared their thoughts on the outcome. David Dorsett-Lynn from Dorsett Retail in Western Australia described the decision as a “very fair outcome” for the industry. “We have had a penalty system designed to keep stores and cafes closed on Sunday so we could all go to church but the world changed when retail gained the flexibility to open – and customers love it. However, it is an economic disaster for retailers with most finding weekend and public holiday trade hard to make money from,” he told Appliance Retailer. “I would love to see less casual employees working penalty hours part time to support university and more people making a career of retail. The penalty rate cut is a step in that direction as it provides a bit more flexibility for employers to reward key full-time employees and that might encourage people to make a career out of retail,” he explained.   Read more here.   This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer.  [post_title] => Penalty rates decision: What retailers think [post_excerpt] => Will the move help Aussie stores compete? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26355 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-28 11:35:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-28 00:35:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26355 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26323 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-24 10:13:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-23 23:13:02 [post_content] =>   By Ben Hagemann After 39 days of hearing, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) yesterday (Thursday) handed down a decision that will see Sunday penalty rates cut from double-time to time-and-a-half pay. The new move will ease overhead pressures on small business retailers who employ staff on weekends but it has enraged unions, the Greens and Labor who say it will create a 'whole new class of the working poor'. The full bench of the FWC has not changed Saturday penalty rates, stating it was satisfied that the existing Saturday penalty rates achieve the modern award’s objective to provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net. The Full Bench also stated it did not reduce Sunday penalty rates to the same level as Saturday penalty rates, noting that for many people Sundays had a higher level of “disutility” than Saturday work, albeit that the extent of that disutility was significantly lower than for periods further in the past. It was viewed as implicit in the claims advanced by most of the employer interests that “they accepted the proposition that the disutility associated with Sunday work is higher than the disutility associated with Saturday work”.   Read more here.   This story first appeared in C&I Week.  [post_title] => Fair Work Commission slashes Sunday penalty rates: Employers jubilant, workers and unions furious [post_excerpt] => Double time to time-and-a-half. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sunday-penalty-rates-cut-employers-jubilant-unions-furious [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-24 10:13:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-23 23:13:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26323 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26299 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-02-21 09:44:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-20 22:44:17 [post_content] =>     By Charles Pauka  Up to 16 per cent of Australians believe their current role will be made redundant by a robot in the next five years, according to Airtasker’s latest Future of Work study. A study by research firm Pureprofile, which polled a representative sample of 1,003 Australians, also found that 71 per cent of the population believe the rise of the machines will replace more jobs than they create. The data underscores the disparity around the fear of automation and actual job growth. ABS data (2006, 2016) shows that despite the rise of various efficiency driving technologies over the past decade, total jobs have continued to grow. Meanwhile, almost one in ten Australians indicated that they are leveraging the Sharing Economy to earn extra income. The number of Australians indicating this nearly doubled from the result seen in Airtasker’s 2016 Future of Work study. “There seems to be some fear in Australia around machines replacing jobs, and this is the first study that quantifies it,” Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said. Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics and News.  [post_title] => Australians fear robots will replace more of their jobs [post_excerpt] => The rise and rise of machines. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australians-fear-robots-will-replace-jobs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-21 12:58:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 01:58:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26299 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26966 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-04-21 11:14:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-21 01:14:39 [post_content] =>

By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier   Hoteliers and the wider hospitality industry are on edge, as they await more details in regards to the Federal Government’s 457 visa replacement. Yesterday (Tuesday), Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the scrapping of the 457 visa program, stating: “We are ensuring that Australian jobs and Australian values are first, placed first. During the press conference, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, announced that 457 visa will be replaced with two alternate visas, that do not foster as much agency for permanent residency. “What we propose is that under the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa, with the options of two-years, but there would not be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that. “In relation to the medium-term stream, which as the Prime Minister pointed out, is targeted at higher skills, a much shorter skills list, that will be for a period of four years, can be applied for onshore or offshore, and it's a significant tightening of the way in which that programme operates. According to the Department of Immigration, in 2014 cooks represented the third-largest usage of the 457 visa, after software/application programmers and general practitioners and residential medical officers. The AHA has called on the Government to ensure that the needs of the hospitality industry are met within the new visa program. “The hospitality industry is growing at unprecedented rates at the present and the demand for skilled labour is at all-time highs with this complete transformation of Australia’s hotel industry,” said AHA CEO, Stephen Ferguson. Indeed, the Government’s own Australian Tourism Labour Force Report estimated that the tourism and hospitality sector will require an additional 123,000 workers by 2020, including 60,000 skilled positions. “Australia’s hospitality sector has responded with a wide range of training and career development programs, but with such a rapid increase in tourism it is impossible to meet the demand for skilled labour in the short-term through local channels, especially in regional and remote Australia.” With the exact details of the new Temporary Short- and Medium-Term Visa programs, yet to be revealed, most hoteliers are withholding judgment at this stage, but a few were wary of the additional strain the scrapping of the 457 visa would place on finding kitchen staff. “I am still waiting to hear the finer detail about the announcement from Turnbull so as to fully understand the implications of this for the hospitality sector. But on face value, it does not seem to be founded in a sound consideration of the facts attributable to the current skills shortages being experienced in the hospitality sector,” opined Christian Denny, licensee of Hotel Harry and The Dolphin. For Angela Gallagher, group general manager of Gallagher Hotels, the replacement of the 457 visa program will create another hurdle in finding quality staff. Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout. 
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Industrial Relations