If the FWC incorporates loaded rates in hospitality and retail awards after a referral from IR Minister Christian Porter, it is likely to involve a range of such rates rather than a single one, the tribunal's president indicated in a statement today.
The underpayment of migrant workers significantly worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a large Unions NSW audit revealing 88% of a sample of foreign language job ads in the state offered below award wages.
FWC President Iain Ross has agreed to consider IR Minister Christian Porter's request that he insert loaded rates into awards for "distressed" industries and will convene initial conferences next week.
IR Minister Christian Porter has flagged that he is looking to change key awards so that permanent part-time employees can agree to work extra hours at their usual rates of pay as required, leading to less reliance on casual work.
Support among workers for performing their duties from home, compressing their hours and job sharing has increased dramatically during COVID-19, according to university research commissioned by the FWC as it considers inserting a WFH clause in the clerical award.
Working from home is here to stay and will be "more effective for all" if it is supported by formal policies, hours are "relatively fixed hours" and it is voluntary, according to one of two university studies commissioned by the FWC as it considers inserting a WFH clause in the clerks award.
In a decision underlining the perils faced by workers who are not covered by awards or enterprise agreements, the FWC has found an employer had no statutory obligation to consult an employee about its plans to make him redundant.
The FWC is likely tomorrow to extend COVID-19 flexibilities in the clerical award until the end of March, after the ACTU agreed not to oppose the move, while unions and employers are continuing to negotiate on proposed "enduring" working from home provisions.