Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017; In Committee
Thank you to Senator Cameron for setting out those case studies, which I found very useful. I would like to indicate to Senator Cameron and to the government that, on balance, I think this is a good and beneficial amendment. The examples that Senator Cameron gave cannot be ignored. I have concerns about some of the other amendments, about their practicality and workability, but I think this amendment is a good one in respect of prospective employees. There is a safeguard in respect of the test for reasonableness.
I have only one caveat, and I just want to put on the record so that there is no misunderstanding, Senator Cameron. My colleagues and I will support this amendment, but if the government says that there is some technical drafting issue that needs to be addressed, and it's an issue that Senator Cameron is satisfied is a technical drafting issue, then we reserve the right to revisit it. That's not to reflect in any way on the drafting as it exists, but I think it's a reasonable approach. I say this respectfully to Senator Cameron. The drafting seems fine to me. If there is some issue that may not allow the legislation and the amendment to work as intended by Senator Cameron, I'd like to think Senator Cameron would be open to that. So I say, in the genuine spirit of getting this amendment through, that we support it. I think Senator Cameron acknowledges the spirit in which I'm putting that. I think that Senator Cameron, despite our fierce and vigorous debates on some issues and the fierce and vigorous agreement we have on others, knows in his heart of hearts that we will work constructively with him if there is some technical issue with respect to the amendment. In that spirit, we support this amendment.