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Greens introduce bill to enforce flexible work conditions

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HC Online | 16 Feb 2012, 12:01 AM Agree 0
Employer advocacy groups have expressed concerns about a new bill introduced to parliament by the Greens, which if passed, will allow employees the right to complain to Fair Work Australia (FWA) if their request for flexible hours is denied by their employer.
  • Graham | 16 Feb 2012, 02:21 PM Agree 0
    this is just madness by the loopy greens again, who clearly do not understand about running a business. Business is tough enough without this ridiculous rules. Will just make companies employ people on casual or shorter term contracts.
  • A different Graham | 17 Feb 2012, 10:18 AM Agree 0
    Whilst I agree that this bill goes too far, it does highlight the fact that the current 'right to request flexible working' carries no weight whatsoever. "Good' employers were considering requests for flexible working long before the FWA came in to force. I've seen large multi-national corporations repeatedly fob off legitimate and workable flexible work requests under the flimsy guise of 'reasonable business grounds' when the real reason is an unwillingness to embrace the realities of todays workforce. Under the current laws, there is no viable way to appeal a refusal of a request unless there is ground for discrimination, or leave to join a more flexible employer - either way its a lose/lose outcome. There needs to be a more robust way of ensuring requests are considered fairly.
  • Estelle | 17 Feb 2012, 11:25 AM Agree 0
    From personal experience it's great to have flexible working hours. We have an office of three who work flexible hours, this includes myself and our boss. We also work till all hours if need be, even though we are not requested to. Our aim is to ensure what ever needs doing in our workplace is done on time. We do any work that needs to be done, whether it's the accounting, administration, OHS, HR, moving our furniture, producting reports; P&L, tax returns, cleaning, and lots more. We also have another team of three who are sales staff and their hours are set but are also allowed flexible time for personal reasons if need be. The flexible working arragement was never in our contracts, and we have been here for many, many years. It works great for us, but it would not work for every workplace, nor for the previous business we have owned and managed, and I do not belive we would be setting up another property with the same arrangement as to the nature of the property we would be setting up. If anything our hours would not be as flexible then. Personally I would not be in support of putting this bill through because it would create a nightmare for not just employers but also employees. Now think about it, would the employer not also have the right to request flexible hours from the employee to meet business demands, reporting requirements? We are creating more work for the lawyers and the courts. For goodness sake get real and let each business handle this on a one to one basis. If an employee is treated unfairly they can still go to the Fairwork Ombudsman. We don't need additional work for the Fairwork Ombudsman. We have far too many laws already which are not being followed because small businesses cannot keep up and or employ more staff to ensure these laws are complied with. Look what's happened to our manufacturing industry, that's right we have very little of it. Think about why and it's not just the cheap labour overseas, if anything we are encouraging non human rights compliance by allowing businesses to take their manufacturing overseas. Me am just an employee with very strong work ethics. I don't have anyone working under me, I have no authority, no degrees, but lots of experience and knowledge and honesty and am not afraid of hard work.
  • Clare | 17 Feb 2012, 11:39 AM Agree 0
    At the end of the day, we should not be living in a nanny state where our government decides how we work and live.

    It is imnportant to remember that we are constantly losing job to overseas locations, because it is becoming too difficult to operate in a highly regulated environment.

    The simple fact is - we all sign contracts to do jobs. If we don't like the job or the environment we have a right to leave that and find somethign else. We should not expect successful companies to make decisions solely because of legislation. Whilst we need to treat employees fairly and equitably, business owners should not have to prove themselves every time.

    Too much time is already lost with vextious claims through Fair Work. All we are doing is keeping business from operating effectively as it is.
  • Clare | 17 Feb 2012, 11:43 AM Agree 0
    At what point do politicians realise they are not actually working in the real world?

    This is not a nanny state - and we do not need more Australian business to go offshore - but this is what they are goign to do if they continue to legislate how companies should operate.

    We all sign contracts. To perform a role, meet expectations and if we don't like that - or our circumstances change it is our responsibility, not our employers to deal wtih this.

    We have choices, and if we don't like it - then we can leave and find work elsewhere.

    Companies should not feel they have a gun to their heads when making operating decisions.


  • Judy | 17 Feb 2012, 04:02 PM Agree 0
    Another nightmare situation for businesses, regardless of their size. Anyone noticed how much like the US our laws are becoming? Highly and over-regulated and the previous commenters are right: it's all part of the reason the cost of doing business is so high and jobs are being lost. Time for a reality check in parliament I feel. Before you put forward these nonsense ideas, why don't you canvas various organisations and find out what they think.
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