Workers will soon have the right to ignore unreasonable calls and emails outside their rostered shifts, after the Albanese Government’s legislation cleared Parliament on Thursday. Source: The Guardian.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has foreshadowed an election fight on the Government’s right-to-disconnect legislation, saying he would overturn the laws if elected.
Business groups have criticised several elements of the new laws, including penalties for employers who breach the rules.
Labor blamed the Coalition for not allowing an amendment to the legislation before it passed to remove penalties.
Asked on Sky News if he would take a promise to repeal the change at the next federal election, Mr Dutton replied, “Yes, we will”.
“We will take a policy that’s in our country’s best interests that provides support to workers, but doesn’t make it impossible, particularly for small businesses to employ staff,” he said.
The Opposition Leader also described additional changes around multi-employer bargaining and allowing casuals to transition into permanent work as “outrageous”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said yesterday that Mr Dutton’s opposition to the right-to-disconnect laws, and initial hesitance in backing reforms to stage three tax cuts, showed he “wants people to work longer, for less”.
“What Peter Dutton wants is lower wages, more taxes on low and middle-income Australians, and to continue to wind back any reforms that are made in the interests of working people,” Mr Albanese said.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the Coalition had the opportunity to vote against the breaches being considered a criminal matter, but chose to leave it in place.
“That just shows they’ll always put politics before the working people of this country,” he said.
Mr Chalmers said the right to disconnect was “a commonsense change” that meant a worker could take up a complaint against their employer.