Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023; Consideration in Detail
I move amendment (8) as circulated in my name:
(8) Schedule 5, page 22 (after line 25), at the end of the Schedule, add:
4 At the end of section 324
(4) If the deductions are for amounts as varied from time to time, any variation that increases the amount of one or more of the deductions must be authorised in writing by the employee.
The effect of this amendment would be to protect workers from being put into a position where higher payments could be automatically deducted without their knowledge and would instead require the employee to specify in writing if the employee agreed to an increase, before the increase was deducted. It is somewhat mystifying that the government has chosen to put into this bill a provision that would essentially allow unions to charge higher fees without a member of the union giving express agreement to that. It is sadly consistent with the usual approach of this government in dancing to the tune of its union masters, which is no doubt closely related to the fact that almost all of the Labor members of the House of Representatives are in a position where their preselection depends very closely on maintaining the continued approval and support of union officials. That is why they have produced in this bill a provision which so disgracefully advances the interests of unions and seriously compromises the interests and financial positions of employees.