The Australian Meat Industry Council’s (AMIC) position on the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 is that the Bill will undermine the system of enterprising bargaining that has delivered many significant benefits to Australia over several decades and currently operates effectively in the red meat sector and others.
AMIC CEO, Patrick Hutchinson says that there has not been adequate consultation during the lead up to the bill and that the time period for submissions was not acceptable.
“AMIC were not consulted in the lead up to the Bill and we understand very little consultation was undertaken with other business and employer groups.
“Allowing two weeks to provide feedback on a Bill of the size and complexity of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill is entirely inadequate and does not allow stakeholders to provide informed feedback.” Mr Hutchinson said.
AMIC does not support multi-employer bargaining and believes that it should be up businesses to decided how they engage in the industrial relations system.
“AMIC supports the autonomy of businesses to choose how they engage based on the needs of individual business considerations. The multi-employer bargaining provisions will force businesses to adopt a one size fits all approach and in turn, will threaten the viability of businesses.
“These provisions will result in conditions which cannot successfully be managed by all nominated businesses, and perversely, will not necessarily mean all covered workers are better off across all businesses.
“Forcing businesses into bargaining will increase industrial activity as businesses are forced to negotiate on terms which may be untenable for their business and circumstances.
“The provisions will limit expansion and further employment opportunities as businesses negotiate and navigate new employment conditions.
“Multi-employer bargaining should only occur where an employer voluntarily agrees to participate.” Mr Hutchinson said.
If passed, this Bill will also see employers facing an increased threat of forced conciliation and arbitration regarding requests for flexible working arrangements.
“The flexible work and arbitration provision contained within this Bill infringes on an employer’s right to make independent and appropriate business decisions.
“Moving forward, AMIC expects to collaborate with Government and other key stakeholders on the proposed legislation to ensure workable solutions for all parties.” Mr Hutchinson said.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Keith Drain – Communications Manager
M: 0429 040 128
E: [email protected]