Australian employers must ask employees if they want to work on public holidays
Australian employers are now required to ask their workers if they want to work on bank holidays and can’t automatically place them on a roster thanks to a landmark court decision.
7NEWS Finance Editor Gemma Acton says the ruling, delivered by federal court just days before the Easter holidays, is a “huge win” for unions.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Major public holiday change for Australian employees.
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“This now applies to all jobs and overrides anything that is written in existing contracts or agreements,” she said.
“The court case found that a company owned by mining giant BHP had violated the Fair Labor Act by forcing miners to work on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.”
Acton added that the ruling could spell big changes for employees and industries across the country.
“This could have a really big impact on workers and industries that often go through holidays like hospitality or healthcare,” Acton said.
“Pointing to the power imbalance between bosses and workers, the judges said the former could only reasonably require someone to work, not order them.”
The ruling could also mean employers who automatically schedule their employees on public holidays could face civil penalties, including in the resource, logistics, retail, hospitality, health and emergency services sectors.
It is understood the court is still determining what penalties will be imposed on BHP for violating the Fair Work Act.
Meanwhile, Anthony Albanese’s government has indicated that it may support raising the minimum wage in line with inflation.
Labor Secretary Tony Burke was asked what the government would recommend in its submission to the Fair Work Commission ahead of its minimum wage decision.
Burke assured Australians on the minimum wage that “the values of the Labor government have not changed” as inflation continues to rise.
While inflation currently stands at 7.4 percent, a 7 percent wage increase on top of the national minimum wage would earn workers an additional $1.40 an hour, raising the hourly minimum wage to $22.87.
Burke said minimum wage earners have “the least room to maneuver” as inflation continues to rise.
“Last year we established the principle that the focus must be on the people with the lowest incomes because they have the least savings and the least mobility,” he told ABC RN Breakfast on Wednesday.
“An entry would never be duplicated from one year to the next, and it is never identical in every respect. But as I said, our values have not changed.”
This would be welcome news for the 2.8 million Australians employed on the minimum wage.
https://7news.com.au/business/workplace-matters/australian-employers-must-ask-workers-if-they-want-to-work-public-holidays-c-10200917 Australian employers must ask employees if they want to work on public holidays