The Coalition’s only IR reform was rejected in a test case as the unit guardian loses the right to become permanent

According to the Fair Work decision, converting to tenure would also involve putting him on a career progression path.


“These changed rights and obligations, as well as the financial impact of the different salary structures … lead me to conclude that the proposed change to part-time employment would not be without significant adjustment,” Commissioner Christopher Platt said on Friday in her decision. .

National Tertiary Education Union president Dr Alison Barnes said the decision showed the legislative change was a failure.

“Mr Priest has carried out the same pattern of work, teaching the same courses for over a decade. I think most Australians would agree that he deserves the security of a running contract which would allow him important terms such than annual leave and sick leave,” Barnes said.

University of Sydney labor law expert Prof Shae McCrystal said service sector casuals performed different functions than permanent staff, making it difficult to convert them under the legislation. However, she said the law gives employers a myriad of grounds to refuse to make offers.

“The way they put it together is the worst of both worlds: it creates a sense of entitlement for casual workers that they could be converted, where there are plenty of ways out for employers; while placing a heavy administrative burden on employers,” McCrystal said.

As part of the legislative suite, a new definition of a casual employee was also inserted into the Fair Work Act, along with a mechanism to prevent employees incorrectly labeled as casual from doubling back wages, but meaty reforms such as the criminalization of wage theft were dropped.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison sparked a political firestorm earlier in the election campaign when he pledged to revive dumped parts of the omnibus Industrial Relations Bill, forcing Labor to seize provisions that would change key protection for employees, the “best overall test”.

The BOOT ensures that workers under company contracts are paid more than the award and that no employee backs down when renegotiating wages and working conditions. The Coalition initially proposed to suspend this test for companies affected by the pandemic and to relax certain aspects of it.


After Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of putting working conditions ‘up for grabs’, Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash was forced to rule out BOOT changes, however, Morrison said been less clear in his denial that the test would be changed.

When asked in Perth earlier this month, Morrison only referred to the abandonment of BOOT changes regarding businesses affected by COVID. Major employer groups want the BOOT to be revised to allow for the ratification of bargaining agreements that have the support of the majority of the workforce and the removal of rights deemed unnecessary for most workers.

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