Thursday, 10 December 2020
Job Security Select Committee; Appointment
At the request of Senator Sheldon, I move:
(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Job Security, be established to inquire into and report on the impact of insecure or precarious employment on the economy, wages, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions, with particular reference to:
(a) the extent and nature of insecure or precarious employment in Australia;
(b) the risks of insecure or precarious work exposed or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis;
(c) workplace and consumer trends and the associated impact on employment arrangements in sectors of the economy including the 'gig' and 'on-demand' economy;
(d) the aspirations of Australians including income and housing security, and dignity in retirement;
(e) the effectiveness, application and enforcement of existing laws, regulations, the industrial relations system and other relevant policies;
(f) accident compensation schemes, payroll, federal and state and territory taxes;
(g) the interaction of government agencies and procurement policies with insecure work and the 'on-demand' economy; and
(h) any related matters.
(2) That the committee present its final report on or before the last sitting day in November 2021.
(3) That the committee consist of five senators, as follows:
(a) two nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;
(b) two nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; and
(c) one nominated by minor party and independent senators.
(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;
(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and
(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of a committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.
(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.
(6) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and as deputy chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
(7) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.
(8) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.
(9) That the committee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.
(10) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.
(11) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.
The government does not support this motion. ABS data confirms that the biggest increase on the record to the rate of casual employment occurred under the Hawke and Keating governments, with the level then remaining steady thereafter for more than 20 years leading into the COVID pandemic. Incentivising the growth of stable, permanent jobs and higher incomes are two of the key goals of the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020.
Honourable senators interjecting—