Today HoWARd and Andrews released feel-good ads and information regarding ‘WorkChoices – A New Workplace Relations System’

Deep down in the document is a worrying paragraph for an old cynic like me.

“Unfair dismissal laws cost Australian workers jobs. That is why the Australian Government will exempt businesses that employ up to and including 100 employees from unfair dismissal laws. In a business with more than 100 employees, an employee must work six months before they are able to claim unfair dismissal.”

Most full time positions have a period of probation usually lasting 12 weeks. It represents a reasonable timeframe for an employee to decide if the employer is right for them and vice versa. If I was a probationer do I interpret WorkChoices as advocating for probation to be extended to more than 12 weeks? Or does it mean that a probation period will not be worth the stress and uncertainty that it can so often be as at the end of 12 weeks an offer of permanent employment is no guarantee of ongoing employment. Only at the completion of six months can WorkChoices cover a worker new to the enterprise.

Will we be seeing a new form of casual worker? The worker who is employed with the expectation of permanent employment, works diligently for 23.5 weeks and then is “let go.” I wonder what the financial, physical and mental health implications of a fair dismissal might be?

I would rather the government spend the reported $12 million $15 million $40 million $55 million the WorkChoices advertising campaign is going to cost on mental health services for all the physically and psychologically hurt workers of today (and no doubt) the future.

Workchoices is skewed toward the employer and against the employee.
I suspect HoWARd subscribes to the Henry Ford school of logic,

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”

WorkChoices inaction

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5 Responses to “WorkChoices”

  1. SI Says:

    I agree Suki – What’s worse is that first Howard cuts benefits from people like single mothers to force them into the workforce. Then he gives the go ahead to small business to cut any bargining power that they may have had for family friendly conditions. Shame Howard shame. By the way, if collective bargining is so bad, why are the sports people such as the Wallabies opting for collective bargaining!

  2. Suki Says:

    I wonder how much ‘team spirit’ would cost the Wallabies management if the individualism (and possibly resentment) growing out of AWA’s had to be transcended…

  3. JahTeh Says:

    Suki, that has to be the best heading I’ve ever come across.

  4. mgk: Machine Gun Keyboard Says:

    […] John HoWARd’s idea of workplace ‘flexibility‘ involves you, the worker, being able to assume the position.  […]

  5. Bran, babies and a bus pass. » Suki Has An Opinion Says:

    […] given that $55 million was spent on advertising WorkChoices legislation, the word WorkChoices will be reintroduced into […]

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