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More rights for temporary workers

Media Statement
8 November 2007

More rights for temporary workers

A new bill entered into the ballot will provide temporary agency and labour hire workers with more rights.

Labour MP Darien Fenton’s “Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill aims to fulfil Labour’s manifesto promise that workers employed by temporary work agencies and labour hire companies have the right to be covered by a collective agreement in force at the workplace in which they are temporarily employed.

Darien Fenton says that labour hire and temporary agency workers are often placed in a workplace to do the same job as other workers, but are paid less and have fewer rights.

“Recently, I met with workers employed by a Labour Hire Company at the Heinz Wattie premises in Hastings and this highlighted for me the unfairness that temporary agency and labour hire workers face.”

Ms Fenton says that Heinz-Wattie has collective employment agreements for their directly employed staff, the Labour Hire workers are all on individual agreements.

“A comparable Heinz Wattie collective agreement pays between $12.47 and $14.64 an hour while the Labour Hire workers are paid between $11.25 and $13.00 an hour. 40% of these workers are the statutory minimum wage.

“Other entitlements are few and far between. There are no entitlements to breaks apart from lunch, there are no shift payments, no overtime rates, no weekend rates or other allowances, even although workers directly employed by Heinz Wattie receive all of these things.

“Under my Bill, workers like these will be able to join the collective agreement in force at the workplace, thus ensuring they have the same pay and rights as directly employed workers” says Ms Fenton.

ENDS

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