Latest News

Read all the latest news from Brendan O'Connor MP


April 15, 2019

For five years, the Liberals have denied there is a problem with casualisation and precarious work. They have not done a single thing to address the growing incidence of insecure work.
Increasingly, employers are using the oxymoronic term “permanent casual” to describe their employees. This means working like a full-time employee for years on end, but not knowing from day-to-day or week-to-week whether you still have a job, or how much money you’ll take home.
While there are workers who like the flexibility that casual work provides, too often it’s used purely as a mechanism to pay workers less, or to deprive them of conditions and security.
Today, the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Brendan O’Connor, visited Geelong construction workers with the Member for Corio, Richard Marles, and Labor’s candidate for Corangamite, Libby Coker.
Mr O’Connor said that he heard examples of tradies being made casual purely to suit the employer’s bottom line.
“For too many, being casual means no sick leave, no holiday pay, no workers compensation, no overtime and no job security. It means they cannot get a home loan, finance for a car, or plan ahead,” he said.
Richard Marles was shocked to learn that a Geelong tradie was denied a home loan because he was employed as a casual, and said that workers across Geelong deserve secure work allowing them to plan for their future.
“Being turned down for a home loan because you’re a casual worker rips away all the dreams of owning a home,” he said.
In stark contrast to the Liberals, who have done nothing for Australian workers, Labor has had a policy since 2016 to legislate an objective definition of “casual” to give clarity and certainty for employers and employees.
This is part of a comprehensive package of reforms including:

  • Restoring penalty rates.
  • Ensuring the minimum wage is a living wage.
  • Cracking down on sham contracting.
  • Labour hire regulation to ensure labour hire workers are paid the same as directly employed staff doing the same job.
  • Ten days paid domestic violence leave.
  • Tighter regulation of the gig economy.
  • A crackdown of sham enterprise agreements.
  • Greater penalties for the exploitation of workers.

As Treasurer and Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has presided over the lowest wages growth since records began, and yet he wants to further cut the wages of hard-working Australians by cutting their penalty rates.
Libby Coker, Labor’s candidate for Corangamite said it was time the Morrison Government followed Labor and put workers and decent jobs first.