Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 November 2022) . . Page.. 4008 ..
Employment—conditions and entitlements—update
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.19): In response to the excellent motion brought on 3 May 2022 by champion of workers Mr Pettersson, I am pleased to inform members about what the ACT government has been doing, and continues to do, to materially improve the working conditions of ACT residents.
The government has a long history of protecting territory workers’ rights—their rights to be treated respectfully, and to have fair pay and entitlements. We are also committed to promoting safe workplaces that contribute to wellbeing and enable workers to return safely to friends and families at the end of the working day. We are proud of this history, but we have not finished the work yet. We are not done yet, because it is at the core of our work in this place to help workers.
As I have mentioned in this place previously, I do not believe our commitment to workers in the territory can be challenged. The reforms are broad, and speak for themselves about the steps that we have taken to ensure that workers’ rights are upheld and that employers are fulfilling their obligations. You will recall me speaking about these reforms in the Assembly, and although they will be familiar to you, it is worth mentioning them again here today and giving you some updates on our progress.
Secure work is good work. Secure work means knowing you will always have a job—full-time, part-time or casual—and the financial security and certainty that comes with it. This means less time out of work and longer contracts for those jobs that are not permanent, and support to take time off when you are unwell, and to rest and recuperate. Secure work is good for workers and their families, and it is good for business and our community, too. Secure work is work where workers’ rights are protected, where being in a form of work that is not permanent does not mean that your rights and entitlements are reduced or are less important.
The ACT government has introduced a labour hire licensing scheme. This scheme commenced in May 2021, and to date more than 900 employers and businesses are registered as labour hire providers operating in the territory. This speaks to the breadth of labour hire practice and the importance of this scheme for the territory. The scheme ensures that labour hire businesses operating in the territory meet their workplace obligations. It requires them to demonstrate an ongoing compliance with industry standards and workplace laws and that they are suitable to be an employer and hold a licence.
Through labour hire licensing we are encouraging responsible practices in the industry and sending a very clear message about what good, secure employment looks like and what is and is not acceptable. It sets up a clear framework for preventing and responding to non-compliance. The government has also delivered the secure local jobs package that has set the standard for ensuring that government-funded contracts