"The provisions of the 'Closing Loopholes' Bill affording broad new rights to union delegates are unreasonable and unnecessary. They are a recipe for workplace chaos and disputation," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"There is no need to impose a raft of new obligations on employers in relation to union delegates. Alarmingly, the Bill could afford an unlimited number of union delegates with various new paid training and access rights.
"The changes to delegates' rights are unnecessary given the raft of protections already afforded to employee representatives under our system. They reflect an impractical, unjustified and unbalanced change in the regulation of such matters. The Bill will give union delegates and officials wide-ranging powers to represent other employees, regardless of whether those workers even want to join a union. This has huge implications, from a practical perspective, for how businesses engage with their workforces.
"The shortcomings of the new provisions for union delegates are profound and compounded by the disturbing lack of clarity as to how the Bill will operate given it:
"The Fair Work Act, when it was implemented by a Labor Government, afforded unions an extensive range of new rights and powers and there is no serious need to rebalance the regulation further. This Bill seeks to disturb the balance that was previously struck in relation to such matters by further extending union rights without any meaningful justification. Christmas has come early for the unions this year," Mr Willox said.
Tony Melville – 0419 190 347