The timing and haste of the introduction of the Howard Government’s new workplace laws has been slammed by Employment Protection Minister John Bowler.
Mr Bowler called on all of Western Australia’s Federal politicians to reject the new regulations announced yesterday.
“These regulations all but destroy the rights of Australian workers,” he said.
“It is a joke that the Federal Government claims the new regulations simplify the Industrial Relations system. John Howard’s promise of a simpler, unified IR system in Australia fails on all accounts.
“We now have another 400 pages of regulations issued to explain the operation of a 766 page Act.”
Mr Bowler also noted the Howard Government’s attempts to conceal the regulations by announcing them on a Sunday afternoon during the height of the Commonwealth Games.
“If the Federal Government was serious about the value of implementing its radical changes, it would provide an appropriate enactment period to ensure its legislation was understood," the Minister said.
“Claiming that the rights of workers and even employers for that matter will be best served by rushed legislation, shows just how out of touch and arrogant the Howard Government is.”
Mr Bowler said small and medium businesses using a company structure would next Monday find themselves forced against their will into the Federal IR system.
“Employers in that situation do not have the time or resources to close their business for the next week to sit down to work out what they should be paying their staff under the new system, let alone to work through another 400 pages of complex regulations,” he said.
Mr Bowler last week wrote to Federal Minister Andrews expressing serious concerns at the lack of consultation associated with both the WorkChoices legislation and enabling regulations.
“Not only has Minister Andrews failed to proceed with the last three meetings of the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council, but he has scheduled the next meeting for May 18, almost two months after the bulk of the legislation will take effect," he said.
Minister's office: 9222 9699