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Fairness Test? - What Fairness Test?

The Australian Greens will be moving a series of amendments to put real fairness into the Government's 'fairness test' when the Government's Safety Net Bill is introduced into the Senate next week.

"The Senate committee hearing yesterday served only to confirm that there are so many loopholes in the so-called 'fairness test' you could drive a truck through them," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson, today.

"The proposed system doesn't cover all workers on AWAs, unfairly discriminates against women, is inconsistent with the Welfare to Work legislation, is not accountable, will be easy to seek exemption from and is unworkable."

The Greens are proposing amendments to the legislation to widen the scope of the test so that it applies to all AWAs and to ensure that all award conditions are taken into account in determining 'fairness' - not just the current limited list of 5 minimum so-called 'protected' conditions.

"The proposed new system is totally unworkable. It is an absolute farce to think that the new authority will be able to check all AWAs in a timely manner. According to the Government's figures 400,000 AWAs are going to be individually checked for fairness – what a joke," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The Greens believe that there must be an open and transparent process for applying the test and reviewing decisions. Australians will not accept the government keeping the whole process secret - the authority needs to be accountable for its decisions."

"The only transparent thing about the fairness test is the Government's transparent attempt to con the community," concluded Senator Siewert.

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