Case threatens to cut employee choice

AN INDUSTRIAL Relations Commission case, to be decided next month, threatens to redefine the WA employment framework.

The Miscellaneous Workers Union wants to have a clause inserted into the cleaning industry award to make it a requirement for employers to offer employees a choice between Award conditions or a workplace agreement.

The IRC started hearing the case in October. Despite the two days provided, the MWU’s case is still not fully presented. Another three days of hearings are scheduled for early next month.

Workplace Minister Cheryl Edwardes, the Australian Mines and Metals Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Master Cleaners Guild have all sought leave to intervene.

The Combined Small Business Associations of WA also sought leave to intervene but that was refused.

CoSBWA president Oliver Moon said if the union’s claim was successful, it would give employers no choice.

“Workplace Agreements were brought in to allow an employer to run a business the way he wanted to,” Mr Moon said.

Mr Moon said if the MWU was successful, it was likely the result would have a flow-on effect to other industries.

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