WORKPLACE RELATIONS

The Greens (WA) view work as something which should be rewarding, enriching and the basis of our families’, communities’ and state’s welfare and prosperity. We believe that workplace laws should be fair and protect all workers from unjust treatment and unsafe conditions. Industrial laws should facilitate industrial harmony and uphold the rights of workers to organise collectively to negotiate fair pay and conditions.

The Greens (WA) believe that every worker has a right to a safe and healthy workplace and that all workers should expect to return home from work safe and well.  The Greens (WA) believe that there should be a strong and fair worker’s compensation regime to assist workers when they experience workplace illness or injury which should assist workers to return to work and ensure that they do not suffer disadvantage as a result of workplace illness or injury.

Aims
The Greens (WA) want:

  • a strong, independent and accessible industrial relations tribunal which assists parties in resolving workplace conflict when it occurs and which can arbitrate where necessary
  • fair and equitable statutory minimum conditions of employment that reflect the standards of a socially just society
  • a comprehensive award system providing a genuine safety net of wages and conditions and the genuine right to bargain collectively
  • workplaces that are free from discrimination
  • workplaces with democratic management and flexible and innovative work practices that can achieve win-win situations for employers and employees
  • safe workplaces free from occupational hazards

The Greens (WA) want a workers compensation system that:

  • is fair, balanced and efficient and provides reasonable levels of income maintenance, medical and rehabilitation coverage and other benefits for workers
  • is paid for by reasonable levels of employer premiums which take into account employer performance in providing a safe place of work and return to work programs for workers
  • promotes and improves the rehabilitation and return to work of injured workers
  • provides for the timely, efficient and cheap resolution of disputes

Measures
The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • maintain and enhance a strong independent Industrial Relations Commission to ensure impartial resolution of workplace issues and with an enhanced capacity to award compensation over a broad range of industrial issues
  • provide ongoing state funded education campaigns to inform employees of their rights at work and to ensure employers are aware of their obligations as an employer about appropriate wage and award coverage, occupational health and safety, equal opportunity principles, workers compensation and sound human resource principles
  • provide a comprehensive statutory framework protecting the right to collectively bargain, the role of unions to negotiate on behalf of workers and the right of workers to take industrial action
  • phase out any form of statutory individual employment agreements in favour of collective agreements
  • ensure statutory protection for workers categorised as subcontractors
  • amend legislation to clearly define casual and part time work with a view to preventing abuse of casual status
  • ensure adequate statutory minimum conditions of employment
  • establish equal remuneration for work of equal value
  • implement measures to close the gender pay gap (see also The Greens (WA) Women policy)
  • promote pay equity in all sectors of the workforce
  • ensure unions have right of entry to workplaces
  • establish minimum employment standards for trainees and apprentices and promote incentives and requirements where appropriate for employers to engage and train apprentices and trainees (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • develop rural and regional employment development programs and strategies in conjunction with rural and regional communities
  • protect workers from financial hardship arising from accident, injury and disease caused or contributed to by work, by evaluation and revision of the levels of weekly payments
  • ensure reasonable access to common law entitlements, including an evaluation of the impact of impairment assessments, and a revision of common law gateways
  • provide support for employers who adopt best practice in workplace health and safety
  • provide support for employers who put in place appropriate injury management policies and procedures
  • increase employment protection and retraining entitlements for injured workers to facilitate their return to work

(See also the Australian Greens Employment and Workplace Relations policy)

Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia