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Catholic Commission supports parental leave for casual workers
    Australia's Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has argued that parental leave for long-term casual employees is essential for a healthy balance between work and family life.
    Yesterday the Commission made public its submission to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The Industrial Relations Commission is considering the situation of long-term employees obliged to work under industrial awards designed for short-term employees.
    The ACCER expressed alarm at the increasing number of hours workers are obliged to spend in the workplace, and the implications of this for family life.
    It said in its submission: "Employees employed under the terms and conditions of an award should not be disadvantaged because they choose or have no other choice than the award system to determine terms and conditions of employment."
    But the ACCER is resigned to the reality that many workers in long-term positions of employment continue to work under inappropriate awards as casual employees.
    It said: "While the ACCER does not wish to reinforce or endorse the misclassification of employees as 'long term' casuals, it acknowledges that this has occurred, is occurring and, in all likelihood may continue to occur into the future."
    The ACCER is a Melbourne-based Commission established by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and supported by the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutions.