John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    New Fair Go advisory service to help Western Australians get a fair go under WorkChoices

    28/03/2006 8:36 AM
     
    28/3/06

    The State Government has acted to ensure Western Australian employees can make informed decisions under the Federal Government’s new WorkChoices laws.

    Employment Protection Minister John Bowler says the new Fair Go Advisory Service will help WA employees make informed choices about any agreement they may be offered under WorkChoices legislation.

    “Employers, too, can use the service to find out what pay and employment conditions should go into agreements to ensure they are fair and reasonable,” Mr Bowler said.

    “There is a danger WorkChoices can lead to employees facing cuts in their pay and conditions compared with the awards and agreements by which they were previously covered under the State labour relations system.

    “There are fewer safeguards under WorkChoices, because there are no checks by the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) to make sure the agreements compare favourably with awards.

    “It was bad enough when there were so-called checks.”

    The Minister said that previously, the OEA had only to ensure it registered agreements that did not disadvantage employees, compared with the award. But there were many examples when such safeguards were not rigorously enforced. Employees were now exposed completely under WorkChoices.

    Mr Bowler said the Fair Go Advisory Service would provide free, independent information to enable employees and employers to compare any WorkChoices agreement with what was available under the relevant State award or collective agreement.

    “Employees will be able to make informed choices on agreements they are asked to sign,” he said.

    “The advisory service will operate as part of the advisory and education services provided by the Labour Relations Division of the Department of Consumer and Employee Protection.”

    The Fair Go Advisory Service can be contacted on 1300 790 636. It operates from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Wednesdays.

    Minister's office: 9222 9699