Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1519..
The government will also be writing to the commonwealth government to ask that favourable consideration to price variations be given in relation to commonwealth security contracts in the ACT.
The ACT government is committed to implementing this scheme in the best interests of the security sector and its employees. The ACT leads in terms of legislative progressiveness for workers' portable long service leave entitlements, and a scheme for the security industry would serve as a precedent for other jurisdictions to follow.
We were the first jurisdiction to introduce a scheme for cleaning workers and have since been followed by Queensland and very recently New South Wales. We are the only jurisdiction to have introduced a scheme for community sector workers and, now, security industry workers.
A primary focus for the introduction of this scheme is to promote loyalty of employees to this sector, which I anticipate will in turn lead to a more stable and sustainable sector. I expect that the scheme will also assist in the development of more career options for security industry workers and, by helping to facilitate movement between employers, potentially provide more variety in work and greater prospects of promotion.
The scheme will assist workers to optimise their work-life balance by enabling them to take breaks between positions while retaining their attachment to the sector. The scheme will also prove to be beneficial for security industry employers by encouraging the attraction and retention of workers. The scheme is likely to have a further stabilising effect upon the industry, and long-term career security officers are deserving of a portable scheme. The portable scheme also has the potential to reduce long-term administrative burden and costs for some businesses, particularly those that retain or employ long-term security workers.
In these many varied ways, I expect that this scheme will support the security industry in retaining a skilled workforce that fosters a fairer and sustainable security industry in the ACT.
If passed, I intend that the scheme will commence before 1 July 2013. However, I will undertake further work with the industry to assist in settling an appropriate commencement date.
Currently, more work is being undertaken on assessing the nature of the workforce and retention rates using available licensing data to determine the proposed levy that will apply to the scheme. This includes working with the actuary and industry in order to set an appropriate levy. The final levy determination will reflect the nature of the workforce to ensure appropriate funds are raised. The levy and scheme funds will be continually reviewed and assessed to ensure it is sufficient to meet future liabilities.
In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to the Office of Industrial Relations for the work they have done to present this bill to the Assembly and to unions and industry for taking part in the ongoing consultation on this bill.