Page 1104 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
(b) the provision of sick and carer’s pay for casual and contract workers who work in industries that do not usually have access to sick and carer’s pay; and
(c) any other related matters; and
(6) requests the Committee, should it inquire, to determine a reporting date based on the Committee’s capacity.”
Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for clarifying that it is the version with “revised” at the top, with my signature and the date. I want to thank the members from the other side for alerting me to some wording issues that gave me no concern with respect to the substance of my amendment. It does remind me of my days in tax litigation, where sometimes things would settle on the steps of the court as one was wandering in. In this case, things seem to have settled on the floor of the house.
Mr Pettersson has spoken to this motion. It is an important part of the ACT economy for proper consideration, in my opinion, to look at the provision of sick and carer’s pay for casual and contract workers. It is my understanding—and we will obviously hear from the other members of this house—that there is support for my amendment. It is my opinion that the motion as it currently stands does lack a comprehensive approach to employment and information on who will be conducting, partaking in or taking recommendations from an internal government investigation.
It is apparent during the COVID pandemic that every worker, irrespective of their employment standing, requires financial security to protect and provide for themselves and their loved ones. It is interesting that the motion has come from the backbench. I would have thought that the minister himself, having such a concern about the workplace environment, would have moved this on his own, but that being the case, here we are.
Investigating the provision of sick and carer’s pay for casual and contract workers needs to be done through a suitable and fair channel, especially one that is open to community consultation and with open opportunities for submissions and the opportunity for public discussion. Unsurprisingly, I am suggesting through my amendment, the revised amendment, that the best way for this to happen on such an impactful part of our economy is through an inquiry by the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality.
I encourage members to support this amendment and to see a more open inquiry undertaken, subject to the committee’s discretion. It would be a much fairer and effective way for all affected stakeholders to express their views. An internal government inquiry is really in the hands of the department and the cabinet, and it is not necessarily always clear to what degree stakeholders have been consulted or, indeed, which stakeholders have been consulted.
A committee inquiry will put all that out in the open. By moving this amendment, I encourage the standing committee to take this on as a serious matter. We are approaching a period in our economy where we are almost in our new normal. We are almost in our new normal, following the COVID restrictions. To assist business and