AIER proposes changes to workplace rights to address rising insecurity

Media Release, 22 September 2016

The Australian Institute of Employment Rights is today releasing its Discussion Paper, Inequality and Insecurity: Responding to the challenge of precarious work, ahead of the 2016 Ron McCallum Debate.

The connected challenges of growing economic inequality and increasing insecurity of work have significant social, economic and political consequences.

“Brexit, the success of Trump and re-emergence of One Nation are all linked to the hurt and economic suffering of people left behind by decades of neoliberal economic policy. Political choices by governments in the last thirty years have led to the decline of decent jobs and growing precarious work resulting in economic insecurity and alienation for many Australians,” said Clare Ozich, Executive Director of the AIER.

“The approach of our current government is only making circumstances even worse. It is demonstrating no inclination or capacity to address growing economic inequality in Australia. The welfare reforms announced this week will feed a cycle of economic insecurity in an economy that is not creating decent work.”

“In addition, the industrial relations bills currently before the parliament are designed to even further restrict workers acting collectively to push back and demand decent working conditions.”

“To reverse the trends of precarious work and economic insecurity, the AIER contends Australia needs:

  • improved workplace regulation providing a wider range of employment rights for all workers;
  • to re-set the currently restrictive framework for collective action by workers;
  • to re-think the State’s role in providing economic security in a future where there are no longer enough decent jobs; and
  • leadership by business and government that places people over profit and commits to creating decent work.”

“Business is also facing disruption and the race-to-the-bottom inherent in shifting to insecure forms of employment does not bode well for a prosperous and secure business community.”

“Insecure and precarious work in Australia needs to be addressed in a just, fair and effective manner to minimise the damage to individuals, their families and society,” concludes Ms Ozich.

Download the Discussion Paper at the AIER website. Attend the public debate the Australian Institute of Employment Rights is hosting on these issues with representative from unions, business, academia and the community.

Media contact: Clare Ozich – 0403 456 131