Submission to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.
The dignity of work and those who work is a core message of Catholic social teaching.
Workers, direct employers and indirect employers are all called on to achieve the common good in workplaces. This includes fair and just wages and working conditions, and the right and duty to work in solidarity to protect the most vulnerable.
The Bill does not achieve the Government’s stated aim to ensure a ‘balance of fairness’ for employers and employees.
Most changes in the Bill increase the weighting in favour of the more powerful bargaining side. In most cases this will be at the expense of the most vulnerable workers.
Caritas opposes changes in the Bill which increase the vulnerability of workers.
In particular we oppose the changes to ‘good faith’ bargaining, the 30-day collective agreement provision for new employees, and the Section 6A protection of vulnerable workers.
We support the extension to employees who can seek flexibility in employment arrangements, but wish to see this strengthened.
We have concerns about time expectations for Employment Relations Authority determinations, and support the submission of the Employment Court seeking the flexibility to deliver written determinations where appropriate.
Caritas would like to speak to the Select Committee in support of our submission.