Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . .
The secure local jobs package proposes the introduction of a so-called strikes approach whereby businesses would be awarded strikes against their IRE certificate when they have been found to be in breach of industrial relations and employment obligations. This would operate as a deterrent and ensure that there are consequences for businesses that fail to comply with their obligations.
Another important component of the secure local jobs package will be the introduction of clear and transparent processes for the resolution of disputes that arise in relation to government contracts. This will include clear processes for responding to complaints and/or allegations that are raised with respect to breaches of industrial relations conditions and employment obligations.
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will the code benefit local businesses?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his interest in this matter also. The secure local jobs package will benefit local businesses that do the right thing by their workers by legislating a level playing field for businesses competing for government work. This will mean that unscrupulous businesses will not be able to undercut those businesses that are doing the right thing. Indeed, many of the complaints we receive at the moment about the behaviour of contractors come from other businesses.
Tougher compliance checks will proactively identify businesses seeking to give themselves a competitive advantage by avoiding their industrial relations and employment obligations. The secure local jobs package will also benefit businesses by streamlining existing procurement requirements to make it easier for businesses to bid for government projects as well as providing a clear, transparent process for businesses to resolve issues that arise with respect to contracts.
Further, local businesses will benefit from changes to the IRE certification recognising a business's good record. Under the proposed package, varying time periods for the validity of IRE certificates would be introduced. So the length of an IRE certificate awarded would depend on a contractor's history of compliance with industrial relations and employment obligations. Those who do the right thing will get a longer IRE certificate awarded. The proposed package will also benefit local businesses by recognising those that do more for their workforce through training, enhanced employment participation and health and wellbeing activities.
It is clear that the proposed secure local jobs package will both promote job security and ensure that government contracts are awarded to those companies that meet high labour standards but will also create an efficient, clear and transparent governance regime that is the right thing for businesses who do the right thing by their workers. It is very hard to see what the opposition could object to in that list, and yet they do.
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, can you provide the Assembly with an overview of the recent
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