Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3184 ..
part-time and casual employment. Contract cleaning shares many of these characteristics.
In view of this and in response to the motion, I intend to request that directorate officials begin a process of consultation with the ACT Long Service Leave Authority, employers, workers and their representatives on the question of how to establish portable long service leave for the contract catering industry in the ACT. This consultation will allow the government to test the views of the workers and employers who would be most affected and would have the most to gain from accessing portable long service leave. It will also explore the most efficient and effective method for extending the cover.
Portable long service leave schemes respond to the fluidity of modern-day workforces and they recognise that workers very often do not stay in the same job for their whole working life. Even so, they remain committed to their professions, their careers and their industry. Portable long service leave supports workers who are willing to commit to the same industry. This can have beneficial productivity impact for that industry which is better able to retain skilled workers.
Workers compensation wages declarations indicate there are around 1,080 ACT-based employers operating in the broader hospitality sector in the ACT, employing more than 21,000 people, with more than 1,000 of those workers in the contract cleaning industry.
I thank Mr Pettersson for his advocacy on behalf of the contract catering industry in the ACT and look forward to delivering on those workplace safety reforms.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.14): The minister seems to be under a misapprehension of what my amendment actually presents. He said, for example, that having guidelines may interfere with the proper administration of the act. That is absolutely untrue. Firstly, he said “may”; so that indicates he does not really know. If it is a “may”—many things are “may”—does that mean he has an argument to not support something?
I am aware that many pieces of ACT legislation contain discretions which are guided by explanatory statements in a bill or guidelines published in disallowable instruments. I am aware of that, Minister. Surely you are too. So to say that my amendment, these proposed guidelines, would interfere with the administration of the act is really quite misleading.
Again I endorse the amendment. I see this as friendly to the motion and providing the community with clarity on how the government makes very significant decisions. The example I mentioned during my proposal for the amendment is an example where a decision by the minister to say no, because he could, is highly impacting on that operation. The guidelines are there to highlight how the government makes significant decisions. Why would my colleagues on the other side of the chamber be opposed to that? I think it is a disgrace. I endorse my amendment to the Assembly.