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Legislation

Election Update & Pharmacy Changes – March 19

Thanks for tuning in this month for our monthly workplace legislation update.

Casual conversion now added to the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

Late last year we saw the introduction of a casual conversion clause in 85 Modern Awards.

In line with the trend of improving casual’s rights (where they have been engaged on a regular and systematic basis), the Pharmacy industry has caught up, and a casual conversion clause has been added to the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.

Effective from the 28 February 2019, regular casuals employed for 12 months, may be eligible to request to convert to part-time or full-time employment.

Federal Election

As we get closer to the federal election in May, a number of workplace relations matters have been raised by political parties as part of their campaign to establish support from voters.

Number of recent reports have indicated that a vast amount of the Australian workforce have a second job including those that already have a full-time job.

This has been taken to demonstrate that wages are not rising enough to keep up with living costs and there has been a strong trend towards underemployment, despite unemployment being fairly low.

We have since seen Australia’s two major parties going head to head, with the Australian Labour party (back by the ACTU) advocating for the restoration of penalty rates previously reduced in a number of awards (some of which may include the Restaurant, Fast food, Hospitality and Retail industry) and they’ve proposed a significant increase to the national minimum wage with the introduction of a “living wage” being based on 60% of the median full-time wage.

The Liberal Party has pushed back on this, highlighting the increased costs for many businesses, particularly those who are already under financial pressure and would need to consider making cuts to staffing levels, passing the cost on to consumers or even closing down.

Whilst the election is yet to confirm the future direction of employment relations and the impact on businesses and employees, the increased spotlight on the trend in wage increases over previous years against living costs may have a significant influence on the national minimum wage increase effective in July, this year so watch this space.

That’s all from me for now. Thanks for tuning in and we will catch you next month!

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