Main Menu

WP_Query Object
(
    [query] => Array
        (
            [category_name] => industrial-relations
        )

    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [category_name] => industrial-relations
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [tag] => 
            [cat] => 20116
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [paged] => 0
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [title] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [embed] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                    [0] => 22371
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_name__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 14
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => industrial-relations
                                )

                            [field] => slug
                            [operator] => IN
                            [include_children] => 1
                        )

                    [1] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 22371
                                )

                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => NOT IN
                            [include_children] => 
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
            [table_aliases:protected] => Array
                (
                    [0] => wp_term_relationships
                )

            [queried_terms] => Array
                (
                    [category] => Array
                        (
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => industrial-relations
                                )

                            [field] => slug
                        )

                )

            [primary_table] => wp_posts
            [primary_id_column] => ID
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
            [meta_table] => 
            [meta_id_column] => 
            [primary_table] => 
            [primary_id_column] => 
            [table_aliases:protected] => Array
                (
                )

            [clauses:protected] => Array
                (
                )

            [has_or_relation:protected] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [queried_object] => WP_Term Object
        (
            [term_id] => 20116
            [name] => Industrial Relations
            [slug] => industrial-relations
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 20109
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => 
            [parent] => 0
            [count] => 102
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 20116
            [category_count] => 102
            [category_description] => 
            [cat_name] => Industrial Relations
            [category_nicename] => industrial-relations
            [category_parent] => 0
        )

    [queried_object_id] => 20116
    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( 
  wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (20109) 
  AND 
  wp_posts.ID NOT IN (
				SELECT object_id
				FROM wp_term_relationships
				WHERE term_taxonomy_id IN (22364)
			)
) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 14
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 27490
                    [post_author] => 670
                    [post_date] => 2017-06-28 15:19:13
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-28 05:19:13
                    [post_content] => 

The Department of Human Services has advised the CPSU that approximately 2,000 permanent jobs will be created in order to improve services for customers and reduce pressure on staff.

The agency covering Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support said it expects the majority of new permanent positions will be filled by current casual staff, as the department seeks to reduce its use of non-going workers.

The department expects recruitment for the permanent jobs will be concluded in August, with the roles mostly to cover call centre and processing work in offices around the country.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This is an enormously significant announcement that will give a much-needed boost to service standards for Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support customers whilst easing the intense pressure faced by DHS staff. We’re working closely with DHS to ensure these jobs are created quickly and fairly.

“This will provide around 2,000 people in communities around the country with quality, permanent employment and offer some desperately needed support to their colleagues struggling under impossible workloads and also dealing with increased customer agitation and aggression as a result.

“People employed casually by DHS already make a valuable contribution, but giving them permanent jobs will mean they receive the comprehensive training that is required to fully help customers through sensitive issues and often complex processes.”

“The department deserves congratulations for taking this first step to turn around what has been an unacceptable slide in service standards, as we’ve seen with the 42 million calls blocked with a busy signal just in the first 10 months of this financial year and with the tens of thousands of people unfairly caught up in robo-debt.”

The decision follows months of controversy over the robo-debt debacle and lack of service availability at Centrelink, culminating in Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support staff stepping up strikes in April.

“DHS has been described as an agency in crisis,” Ms Flood said. “These jobs will help repair that damage, while the department also needs to agree a fair and reasonable outcome to resolve enterprise bargaining and implement the key recommendations of last week's inquiry report into robo-debt.”

 

 
                    [post_title] => Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support to get 2,000 permanent positions
                    [post_excerpt] => The Department of Human Services will create approximately 2,000 permanent jobs in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support.
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => open
                    [ping_status] => open
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => centrelink-medicare-child-support-get-2000-permanent-positions
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2017-06-28 15:19:13
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-28 05:19:13
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27490
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 27484
                    [post_author] => 670
                    [post_date] => 2017-06-27 10:23:02
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-27 00:23:02
                    [post_content] => 

The Board of Australia Post has selected Christine Holgate as the corporation's next managing director and group CEO, to succeed Ahmed Fahour, who is leaving in July after seven-and-a-half years in the role, following the outcry over his multi-million dollar salary package.

Ms Holgate will officially start in the position mid-to-late October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless.

Ms Holgate, who is the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Australia-ASEAN Council, supporting the development of trade and cultural relations between Australia and the 10 member countries of the ASEAN region, joined Blackmores in 2008 and took the company some wild and turbulent years, including an aggressive expansion into China.

Australia Post chairman John Stanhope said Ms Holgate’s Asian and eCommerce experience were important factors.

"The Board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia.

"Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable as we pursue our Asian Strategy, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there.

"Ms Holgate has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally.

" Ms Holgate's business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post. She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that's entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold."

Ms Holgate said: "Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world.  I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post's leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia.

"I'm a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that's on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia.

What about the pay?

Ms Holgate's remuneration has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal.

In the meantime, current Australia Post Group chief customer officer Christine Corbett will lead the business through the CEO transition period, between Ahmed Fahour's departure on 28 July and Ms Holgate's arrival in October.
                    [post_title] => Blackmores CEO to head up Australia Post
                    [post_excerpt] => Blackmores' Christine Holgate has been named Australia Post's new MD and Group CEO.
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => open
                    [ping_status] => open
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => blackmores-ceo-head-australia-post
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2017-06-27 14:43:55
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-27 04:43:55
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27484
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 27374
                    [post_author] => 658
                    [post_date] => 2017-06-13 12:52:02
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 02:52:02
                    [post_content] => 

 

By Lucy Marrett 

The 7-Eleven wage repayment scheme has so far repaid over $110 million in unpaid wages.

However former wage repayment chairman Professor Allan Fels has raised concerns about minimal fines.

The current payout has eclipsed penalties under existing laws and raised questions about a new law that the Federal Government has proposed, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Mr Fels said the fines imposed under the existing laws would be minimal in comparison to the 7-Eleven payouts.

“The far stronger deterrent effect for others is if they know they have to make up the underpayments in full – in this case $110 million plus, compared to if they just have to pay a fine,” he said.

“The Fair Work Act system just imposes fines and very limited compensation on the individuals whose cases are considered. But the court system works quite badly for systematic underpayment of thousands of people.”

Read more here.

This story first appeared in C&I Week. 
                    [post_title] => 7-Eleven compensation claims hit $110m
                    [post_excerpt] => Payouts better than fines, says Fels. 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => open
                    [ping_status] => open
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => 7-eleven-compensation-claims-hit-110m
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 12:58:52
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 02:58:52
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27374
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 27340
                    [post_author] => 658
                    [post_date] => 2017-06-08 05:00:15
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-07 19:00:15
                    [post_content] => 
Pic: University of Sydney Union.

 

By Danielle Bowling 

The cuts to penalty rates announced earlier this year won’t be completed until 2020, according to a ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The FWC announced that the reformed penalty rate conditions for part-time and full-time hospitality employees working on Sundays would be phased in over three years, commencing from 1 July 2017. Sunday penalty rates would be reduced from 175 percent to 170 percent in 2017-18, from 170 percent to 160 percent in 2018-19, and from 160 percent to 150 percent in 2019-2020.
Public holiday penalty rate reductions for both Hospitality and Restaurant Awards will take effect from 1 July 2017.
Sunday rates for casual employees will not change.
“Hotels will now be able to make long term decisions about the future operation of outlets on Sundays,” said Ferguson. “The reform could lead hotels to increasing trading hours and services and employing more staff.” Read more here. This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine.  [post_title] => Penalty rate cuts won’t be fully implemented until 2020 [post_excerpt] => Sunday penalty rates down to 150% by 2020. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => penalty-rate-cuts-wont-fully-implemented-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-09 10:02:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-09 00:02:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27340 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27315 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37 [post_content] =>   Governments must consider ways to manage the transition to driverless trucks in order to avoid potential social disruption from job losses, according to a new report published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) with three partner organisations. Self-driving trucks will help save costs, lower emissions, and make roads safer. They could also address the shortage of professional drivers faced by road transport industry, the study says. But automated trucks could reduce the demand for drivers by 50-70% in the US and Europe by 2030, with up to 4.4 million of the projected 6.4 million professional trucking jobs becoming redundant, according to one scenario. Even if the rise of driverless trucks dissuades newcomers from trucking, over 2 million drivers in the US and Europe could be directly displaced, according to scenarios examined for the report. The report makes four recommendations to help manage the transition to driverless road freight:
  • Establish a transition advisory board to advise on labour issues.
  • Consider a temporary permit system to manage the speed of adoption.
  • Set international standards, road rules and vehicle regulations for self-driving trucks.
  • Continue pilot projects with driverless trucks to test vehicles, network technology and communications protocols.
These recommendations were agreed jointly by organisations representing truck manufacturers, truck operators and transport workers’ unions, under the auspices of an intergovernmental organisation. This broad coalition of stakeholders lends the call to action particular weight. Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics and News.  [post_title] => Governments must manage transition to driverless trucks and job losses [post_excerpt] => The human side of driverless trucks. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27315 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-06 11:19:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:19:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27315 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27207 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-24 12:33:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-24 02:33:44 [post_content] =>   An audit of underperformance in eight Commonwealth agencies and departments, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), has found there is ‘significant room for improvement’ in dealing with poor performers and that managers avoided tackling the problem and encouraged workers to take redundancy or retire instead. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) looked into underperformance of eight federal government agencies and departments between 2012 and 2016, including the Attorney-General’s Department; Australian Taxation Office; Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; Department of Social Services; Department of Veterans’ Affairs; IP Australia; and the National Film and Sound Archive. These eight were chosen to provide a mix of size and function, as well as a mix of how they had been rated for managing poor performers by their staff. The audit focused on how well agencies managed underperformance through policies, procedures and management practices and said it was important to address because weak performance management could impact negatively on productivity, efficiency and morale. “In most agencies underperformance is not being accurately identified and the proportion of employees undergoing structured underperformance processes is very low in all agencies," said the report, although it found that where it was addressed agencies stuck to procedural fairness. “Probation processes are not generally used robustly to test the suitability of newly appointed employees (except in the Australian Taxation Office and the National Film and Sound Archive).” The Audit Office said managers should not rely on encouraging badly performing staff to take redundancies or opt for retirement, “while these may be cost-effective approaches in situations of excess staffing or in particularly complex cases they should not be used to replace or undermine ongoing, robust underperformance management procedures.” The number of staff going through structured underperformance processes was 'very low', with the lowest rate of the eight departments being 0.03 per cent of staff at the ATO. The highest was the National Film and Sound Archive at 0.28 per cent.  It said management culture and the lack of support and training for senior and middle managers were the main barriers in dealing with underperformance in the workplace, noting an unwillingness to tackle poor performers, give feedback or set clear expectations from some managers.  Staff perceptions of how well government departments and agencies were doing were also unfavourable. Between 70 to 84 per cent of staff thought their department did not do a good job of managing substandard workers, although around half considered their supervisors did a decent job.   It acknowledged that the causes of underperformance could be complex and include mental health or physical problems and personal issues as well as lax recruitment processes that fail to hire the right person for the job.  Access to training and development could also play a role. Main findings
  • Managers often avoided addressing underperformance, mainly due to lack of support, capability or incentives to do so
  • Managers shied away from confronting poor performers, relying instead on redundancies or retirement, against Australian Public Service Commission guidelines
  • The performance management process was being underused to manage poor performers
  • Probation procedures were deficient in every agency
  • Underperformance policies needed cleaning up and the procedures managing senior staff should be made more transparent
  • Managers in every agency need to make a stronger commitment to dealing with poor performance, including setting clear expectations and giving feedback to staff
Recommendations
  • More commitment from managers to tackle poor performance, rather than using retirement or redundancy
  • Better training and support needed for managers, including the early involvement of an HR professional to help 
  • Clearer guidelines to make it easier for managers to identify inadequate performance
  • Holding managers more accountable for the way they manage underperformance
  • Improve the performance management framework with more ‘check-ins’ between managers and staff
The audit used a variety of data sources including Australian Public Service Commission data from the annual employee census and annual agency survey; agency policies and procedures and interviews with employee representatives, corporate support staff and academics. It cost the ANAO $530,000 to conduct. [post_title] => APS underperformance ignored by managers, says audit [post_excerpt] => Poor performers encouraged to resign or retire. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => aps-underperformance-left-fester-managers-says-audit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 16:23:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:23:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27207 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27177 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-19 11:10:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-19 01:10:51 [post_content] => By Charles Pauka The latest statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) have underlined the Transport Workers’ Union’s claims that truck drivers are overly represented in road statistics and that the statistics are getting worse.   BITRE’s latest report found that during the 12 months to the end of March 2017, 217 people died from 196 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses. These included:
  • 118 deaths from 104 crashes involving articulated trucks, 87 deaths from 77 crashes involving heavy rigid trucks and 25 deaths from 24 crashes involving buses.
  • Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks: increased by 7.2 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier and increased by an average of 0.9 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017.
  • Fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks: increased by 4.1 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier and increased by an average of 2.5 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017.
  Read more here.  This story first appeared in Transport & Logistics & News. [post_title] => Truckies over-represented in fatal crash stats, Bureau confirms union claims [post_excerpt] => Statistics worsening for truck driver deaths. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27177 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-19 11:10:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-19 01:10:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27177 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26994 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-04-28 11:43:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-28 01:43:21 [post_content] =>

The Canberra school cleaners who took their underpayment claim to the Federal Court. Source: United Voice   By Claire Hibbit 
A Canberra-based cleaning company, which was contracted to clean 10 public schools in the ACT, has been found guilty of Fair Work Act breaches for underpayments. United Voice launched the case against Philip Cleaning Services on behalf of 22 workers in 2015, alleging in court documents that some of the cleaners were owed almost $25,000. Of the 22 workers, 19 are S’gaw Karen refugees from Myanmar and Thailand, who spent two decades in refugee camps in Thailand before being resettled in Australia. According to United Voice, the permanent part-time school cleaners were pressured into signing contracts they did not understand, variously paid from different business entities (without explanation either to the workers or the ACT Government) and routinely exposed to unsafe working conditions. Read more here. This story first appeared in INCLEAN.
[post_title] => Canberra school cleaning company guilty of Fair Work Act breaches [post_excerpt] => Some workers owed almost $25k. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => canberra-cleaning-company-guilty-fair-work-act-breaches [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-28 11:43:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-28 01:43:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26994 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => 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. 
[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 ) [9] => 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. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fair-work-ombudsman-backs-bill-support-vulnerable-workers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 11:24:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 01:24:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26914 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26860 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-10 16:51:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 06:51:12 [post_content] => Commonwealth Ombudsman investigation into the Centrelink Robodebt fiasco has found the Department of Human Services (DHS) guilty of poor service delivery and inadequate planning but it has stopped short of condemning the automated debt collection push, saying it was no more inaccurate or unfair than the manual process. 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 ) [11] => 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 ) [12] => 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 ) [13] => 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 ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27490 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-28 15:19:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-28 05:19:13 [post_content] => The Department of Human Services has advised the CPSU that approximately 2,000 permanent jobs will be created in order to improve services for customers and reduce pressure on staff. The agency covering Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support said it expects the majority of new permanent positions will be filled by current casual staff, as the department seeks to reduce its use of non-going workers. The department expects recruitment for the permanent jobs will be concluded in August, with the roles mostly to cover call centre and processing work in offices around the country. CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This is an enormously significant announcement that will give a much-needed boost to service standards for Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support customers whilst easing the intense pressure faced by DHS staff. We’re working closely with DHS to ensure these jobs are created quickly and fairly. “This will provide around 2,000 people in communities around the country with quality, permanent employment and offer some desperately needed support to their colleagues struggling under impossible workloads and also dealing with increased customer agitation and aggression as a result. “People employed casually by DHS already make a valuable contribution, but giving them permanent jobs will mean they receive the comprehensive training that is required to fully help customers through sensitive issues and often complex processes.” “The department deserves congratulations for taking this first step to turn around what has been an unacceptable slide in service standards, as we’ve seen with the 42 million calls blocked with a busy signal just in the first 10 months of this financial year and with the tens of thousands of people unfairly caught up in robo-debt.” The decision follows months of controversy over the robo-debt debacle and lack of service availability at Centrelink, culminating in Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support staff stepping up strikes in April. “DHS has been described as an agency in crisis,” Ms Flood said. “These jobs will help repair that damage, while the department also needs to agree a fair and reasonable outcome to resolve enterprise bargaining and implement the key recommendations of last week's inquiry report into robo-debt.”     [post_title] => Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support to get 2,000 permanent positions [post_excerpt] => The Department of Human Services will create approximately 2,000 permanent jobs in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => centrelink-medicare-child-support-get-2000-permanent-positions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-28 15:19:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-28 05:19:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27490 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 102 [max_num_pages] => 8 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 5768efd8d1b492513b9488a1a5f98690 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

Industrial Relations