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Greens move to strengthen workers’ rights

The Australian Greens today outlined their plan to strengthen workers' rights in the upcoming Senate debate over the Fair Work Bill.

"This Bill is an improvement on Work Choices, but also keeps many elements of the Howard laws. The Greens will be working to ensure that workers' rights are properly protected," said Senator Brown.

Senator Brown and Senator Rachel Siewert will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard later this afternoon to discuss the Fair Work Bill.

Amongst others, the key amendments the Greens will be proposing are:

  • provide Fair Work Australia (FWA) with the power to prohibit employees being made redundant where FWA considers executives are being excessively remunerated;
  • provide FWA with broader powers to resolve workplace disputes (as it stand, FWA will have limited power in relation to bargaining disputes, but no general powers to finally determine other workplace disputes, leaving court action as the only final option for workers);
  • allow parties to bargain over any matters, including environmental matters;
  • ensure unfair dismissal protections are accessible to all workers fairly;
  • provide further protections for Individual Flexibility Arrangements so they cannot be used to exploit workers like Australian Workplace Agreements were used;
  • urge the government to submit the legislation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for advice as to whether it meets Australia's international obligations;
  • 26-week, government-funded paid leave scheme for both mothers and fathers;
  • Funding for employment law services.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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