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Greens caution against weakening of IR laws, welcome Labor backing Greens’ gig-work policy

Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, has said his party will fight moves to weaken the ‘better off overall test’ and welcomed Labor’s support for extending the power of the Fair Work Commission to protect gig-economy workers, a proposal the Greens advanced in a 2018 bill. 
 
The Greens’ Leader introduced legislation in 2018 based on the principle that all workers, including gig economy workers, are entitled to the same minimum standards as employees. Under the bill the Fair Work Commission would have the power to extend minimum wages, terms and conditions from the Fair Work Act 2009, awards or enterprise agreements to gig economy workers. Labor has today outlined a similar policy
 
“Weakening the ‘better off overall test’ is legalising wage theft,” said Mr Bandt.
 
“Thousands of low-paid workers who were stripped of their award entitlements only got their rightful back pay because of the ‘better off overall test’.
 
“Unions, advocates and journalists exposed widespread underpayments, where corporations made profits by paying their shift and casual workers less than the award.
 
“If reports today are true that Liberal and Labor plan to change the law so workers can be paid less than the award, hundreds of thousands of low paid workers will be worse off.
 
“The Greens moved a few years ago to protect gig-economy workers because too many people are falling through the cracks. 
 
“The law should be changed so that every worker, whether they are an employee or not, has the same minimum conditions.
 
“The Greens welcome Labor getting on board with the proposals in our bill.
 
“The Greens also call on Christian Porter and the Liberal government to stop siding with big business in the High Court fight to reverse a hard-fought win for casual workers rights.”

 
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