The Opposition and unions have today sought to turn the spotlight onto the IR Omnibus Bill's changes to casual employment and enterprise bargaining, following the Morrison Government's decision to drop controversial changes to the Better Off Overall Test.
International Trade Union Confederation secretary and former ACTU president Sharan Burrow has told a parliamentary inquiry that the Omnibus IR Bill's casual employment provisions are likely to breach Australia's obligations under ILO conventions and recommendations, ahead of a hearing in Canberra on Friday.
The Morrison Government has agreed to drop proposed changes to Better Off Overall Test in the IR Omnibus Bill, which would have given the FWC a temporary power to approve substandard enterprise agreements for employers afflicted by the pandemic.
McDonald's, the sole corporation to make a submission to the Omnibus Bill inquiry, is calling for substantial amendments to casual conversion provisions and the BOOT, indicating the legislation's changes to the latter are insufficient to renew its interest in enterprise bargaining.
Pauline Hanson's One Nation says the Morrison Government's Omnibus IR Bill is "sadly lacking" on a range of key measures, including proposed changes to casual employment and the Better Off Overall Test.
Ahead of its appearance today before the Senate inquiry into the Omnibus IR Bill, the Centre for Future Work has warned that as Australia experiences an unprecedented period of low pay growth, the legislation's changes "will exert additional downward pressure".
The Morrison Government's plan to allow the FWC to approve agreements that fail the BOOT to help employers hit by the coronanvirus would "tear a gaping hole" in the award safety net, according to a group of leading labour law experts.
The FWC has warned the Morrison Government that its legislative plan to set a 21-day deadline for approval of enterprise agreements is "unnecessary and will have unintended consequences that are contrary to the interests of the bargaining parties".
Ahead of hearings in Townsville on Monday into the Omnibus Bill, Victoria's Andrews Government has described the legislation as a "lost opportunity", while WA's McGowan Government has urged the Morrison Government to abandon its provision to permit approval of short-term substandard agreements.
The RBA is warning that wage growth won't be "materially higher" for at least three years, while Centre for Future Work analysis suggests that the proposed Omnibus Bill provision permitting approval of BOOT-failing agreements will further hamper any recovery in pay rises.