Labor releases IR policy


Summary

Fathers will be guaranteed the right to take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave as part of a new employment safety net covering all Australian workers under Labor's industrial relations policy.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd and industrial relations spokeswoman Julia Gillard further fleshed out Labor's industrial policy at the party's national conference in Sydney this morning.

They released a policy document titled Forward with Fairness: Labor's Plan for Fairer and more Productive Australian Workplaces, which provided further details on the safety net workers would have under a Labor government.

"A Rudd Labor government will guarantee a safety net of decent, relevant and enforceable minimum wages and conditions for working Australians," the policy says.

It promises 10 legislated national employment standards, which will apply to all workers.

"Labor's new national employment standards will contain entitlements for all employees regardless of their industry or occupation," the policy says.

"These new standards cannot be removed or replaced."

The standards include separate periods of 12 months unpaid parental leave for both parents following the birth of a child.

"Labor recognises that many families want to have a parent provide all or most of the care for a child during the first two years of the child's life," the policy says.

Labor would also guarantee workers eight national public holidays, as well as prescribed state or local public holidays such as Labour Day and Melbourne Cup Day.

The minimum conditions will include mandated redundancy pay for workers in a job for more than a year and minimum periods of notice if they are sacked.

The second phase of the safety net relates to further conditions that can be guaranteed in workers' awards.

"Labor believes that awards are an important safety net and an effective floor for collective bargaining. Collective agreements will be able to override award entitlements provided the agreement means employees are genuinely better off," the policy says.

"Under Labor, awards may build on and also provide industry detail on Labor's legislated minimum standards.

"Labor's new awards may only contain a further 10 minimum employment standards."

These can include standards on minimum wages, overtime and penalty rates, allowances and superannuation.


Fathers will be guaranteed the right to take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave as part of a new employment safety net covering all Australian workers under Labor's industrial relations policy.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd and industrial relations spokeswoman Julia Gillard further fleshed out Labor's industrial policy at the party's national conference in Sydney this morning.

They released a policy document titled Forward with Fairness: Labor's Plan for Fairer and more Productive Australian Workplaces, which provided further details on the safety net workers would have under a Labor government.

"A Rudd Labor government will guarantee a safety net of decent, relevant and enforceable minimum wages and conditions for working Australians," the policy says.

It promises 10 legislated national employment standards, which will apply to all workers.

"Labor's new national employment standards will contain entitlements for all employees regardless of their industry or occupation," the policy says.

"These new standards cannot be removed or replaced."

The standards include separate periods of 12 months unpaid parental leave for both parents following the birth of a child.

"Labor recognises that many families want to have a parent provide all or most of the care for a child during the first two years of the child's life," the policy says.

Labor would also guarantee workers eight national public holidays, as well as prescribed state or local public holidays such as Labour Day and Melbourne Cup Day.

The minimum conditions will include mandated redundancy pay for workers in a job for more than a year and minimum periods of notice if they are sacked.

The second phase of the safety net relates to further conditions that can be guaranteed in workers' awards.

"Labor believes that awards are an important safety net and an effective floor for collective bargaining. Collective agreements will be able to override award entitlements provided the agreement means employees are genuinely better off," the policy says.

"Under Labor, awards may build on and also provide industry detail on Labor's legislated minimum standards.

"Labor's new awards may only contain a further 10 minimum employment standards."

These can include standards on minimum wages, overtime and penalty rates, allowances and superannuation.