Feb 2019 | 'A ruse to reduce pay': Unions to battle 'permaflexi' proposal

Date: 28 Feb 2019

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Unions have vowed to challenge a controversial bid to create a new "permaflexi" category of employment, slamming the proposal as a "ruse" aimed at further eroding job and wage security.

It comes as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten ramps up Labor's jobs campaign ahead of a federal election at which income security and wage stagnation are set to be key voter concerns - particularly among the nation's more than 2 million casual workers.

The NSW Business Chamber lodged its application to vary the social services industry award with the Fair Work Commission on Wednesday, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Critics of the move - which employers want to extend across the hospitality and retail sectors - have honed in on the fact the application proposes a minimum one to three hours a week for workers hired under "flexible ongoing employment".

"It beggars belief as to how they believe that will advance job and income security for low-paid workers," Health Services Union secretary Lloyd Williams said.