Business leaders fall over each other to oppose ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ laws

The Business Council of Australia has launched a new campaign claiming that the Albanese Government’s ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ laws would “take away the right for Australian workers to be rewarded for their work ethic and experience.” This raises some questions, given that what the status quo has amounted to has been wages shrinking against rising cost of living while corporate profits skyrocket, and good secure jobs being outsourced for cheap.   

So what’s the fuss all about? The proposed laws will: 

  1. Ensure that labour hire workers are paid the same as employees doing the same job in the businesses where they work.  

There’s no 2), that’s actually it.  

If workers are found to be doing the same duties as those employed under an enterprise agreement, they must be paid the same.  

That includes incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime and penalty rates.  

The laws do not restrict employers’ ability to ‘reward experience and motivation’ by, for example, promoting them to a higher classification. 

Nevertheless, the head of the Minerals Council of Australia claimed, “you can be employed by a business for six months and get the same pay as somebody that has been there for six years,” 

In fact, labour hire is routinely used to achieve just that – outsourcing jobs that provided security and certainty to working families to labour hire to perform the same work at lower wages, and without the need to provide same entitlements. 

Labour hire workers are being paid on average $4700 less a year than people doing the same job for the company they work at. Labour hire has become a rights avoidance scheme for countless big businesses, little more than a way to casualise their workforce and pay people less. 

The head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry tied the campaign into a further knot by adding, “on average the people in labour hire are being paid more, in many cases, than the situation for direct employees.”  

Hang on then, so which is it? Requiring that labour hire employees be paid at a bare minimum the same as a permanently employed colleague places no restriction on them being paid more.  

Neither do the draft laws prevent employers from hiring employees on individual contracts.   

So what’s the incentive to hire them if not to avoid paying basic entitlements all workers should expect? 

>> Keep Reading: Will Labor’s ‘same job same pay’ bill hurt more experienced workers? An expert responds (Via The Guardian) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/05/will-labors-same-job-same-pay-bill-hurt-more-experienced-workers-experts-respond?CMP=share_btn_tw 

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