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Catholic lobbyists warn on new workplace bill

The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) yesterday warned that the new Workplace Relations Amendment (Termination of Employment) Bill 2002 undermines the value of work and discriminates against employees.

The Workplace Relations Amendment (Termination of Employment) Bill 2002 was introduced into the Parliament on Wednesday by Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Abbott. The purpose of the Bill is to extend Federal unfair dismissal laws to all companies incorporated under federal incorporation laws.

A PolMin statement explains that under the new legislation, federal unfair dismissal laws would prevail over current State unfair dismissal laws. In extending federal unfair dismissal laws to these employees, it says, the Bill proposes to wind back compensation available to employees unfairly dismissed by these companies.

"The Bill seeks to create new public policy that says the value of work undertaken by employees of corporations is of less value than that undertaken by employees of other non-corporation, thereby discriminating against employees of corporations causing them unnecessary personal, social, and economic disadvantage."

PolMin pointed out that the proposed policy is in direct opposition to Catholic social teaching and the United Nation's International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention of 1958.

On behalf of PolMin, Coordinator James McGillicuddy called Federal Parliament to amend the Bill by ensuring compensation payable to employees of corporations unfairly dismissed is "at the same level as employees of non-corporations".


Australian Workplace (Govt site) | Workplace Relations Amendment (Termination of Employment) Bill 2002 | related legistation
Hon Tony Abbott MP | Workplace Bills Advance Reform (media release)

15 Nov 2002