04/02/2009 - 22:00

Inquiry into IR bill-

04/02/2009 - 22:00

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EAST Perth-based hospitality contractor Compass Group has called for amendments to the federal government's proposed industrial relations laws to clarify ambiguity over a provision concerning the 'transfer of a business'.

Inquiry into IR bill-

EAST Perth-based hospitality contractor Compass Group has called for amendments to the federal government's proposed industrial relations laws to clarify ambiguity over a provision concerning the 'transfer of a business'.

Compass Group workplace relations manager Geoff Blyth said the proposed new concept detracts from the government's intention of implementing standardised industry awards because it would mean contractors would have to adhere to previously established industrial arrangements an employee had with their previous employer.

"It's not the employee's job, it's a job within the business because, say, for whatever reason, if the business says 'we're no longer going to do that work because it's not our core business, so we'll outsource', then it becomes a new job within the contractor's business," he said.

"There's no good reason why we, as contractors, should then have to use all of the terms and conditions that apply to that worker when it was being done in-house in another company."

Last week, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry represented WA at a senate inquiry into the Fair Work Bill, submitting 48 proposed amendments it says would ensure the benefits of a flexible industrial relations system were maintained, while preserving business and industry's role as a key economic driver for WA and Australia.

CCI chief executive Peter Anderson said members of the chamber, including the Australian Mines and Metals Association and Master Builders Australia, were concerned of the risk to stable single-union workplaces being disturbed by employers having to deal with rival unions exercising right-of-entry and collective bargaining powers that would become available under the new industrial relations laws.

Clough group industrial relations manager Michael Borlase said his company fully supports CCIWA's position.

CCIWA director of workplace relation policy, Marcia Kuhne, said changes to unfair dismissal laws were shaping up as a major concern for industry, with the government set to replace the current system with an informal claims process overseen by a commissioner.

Ms Kuhne said without a formal hearing, where a person's claim can be tested under cross-examination, unfair dismissal would become a guessing game of one person's word against another's.

"What the government has tried to do is to simplify the process, but we think that in simplifying the process they may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater," she said.

"We think that in seeking simplicity they might compromise fairness."

Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard this week said the government would make amendments to improve privacy protection and bolster dismissal rights of employees.

"The entitlement to one week's notice of termination for all ongoing employees with less than 12 months service was inadvertently removed by drafters in an endeavour to streamline entitlements under the new bill," Ms Gillard said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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