FIRST Union media statement: 8 March 2018
Private Members Bill Will Help Reduce Sexual Assault at Work
A Private Members Bill, that will go to fist reading this month, will give rights for vulnerable workers to stomp out sexual attackers at work says a union representing thousands of Labour hire workers.
Lisa Fox, a spokesperson for the Labour-hire Workers Network, says sexual assault is common for labour-hire workers. “We get a lot of reports from workers in Triangular Employment arrangements who are harassed due to the precarious nature of their employment”.
Currently Labour-hire workers, workers employed through an agency to perform work for a ‘host company’ do not have the ability to raise personal grievances with the host employer, the company that is directing their day to day work.
Fox says most labour-hire companies still operate on zero hour contracts, allowing for dismissal without process at the will of the host company. “This means a manager can make a sexual advance on an employee and if they don’t go along with it, they can be sacked immediately without any process and they have limited remedies through the Employment Relations Act to seek resolve the problem.
The Employment Relations Act (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill will allow these workers to raise a personal grievance with the host company. The Bill also requires workers employed in triangular employment arrangement receive the terms and conditions of the applicable collective agreement. Ms Fox says this will give further protections to vulnerable women in many cases.
“We have dozens of collective agreements with major companies like Cotton On that include paid leave for victims of domestic violence. Labour-hire workers getting access to these kinds of protections is excellent news” said Fox.
“We hope this Bill will be supported by all parties in parliament. It gives labour-hire workers the same rights other workers already enjoy” said Fox.
The Employment Relations Act (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill is supported by Labour MP Kieran McAnulty and is likely to go to first reading on 21 March 2018.
The Labour-hire Workers Network is running a Facebook campaign to highlight poor practises in the labour-hire industry atwww.facebook.com/realworkrealjobs/