Kevin Rudd’s Labor government has begun the roll-back of John Howard’s unpopular WorkChoices legislation with ten new National Employment Standards aimed at providing a safety net for all Australian workers.
The new standards include a 38-hour maximum working week, 12 months unpaid parental leave (24 months between a couple), flexible working hours, redundancy rights and four weeks annual leave.
These are pretty basic work rights and in my view don’t go nearly far enough, but already Australian business and their political vehicle the Liberal Party are screaming that the package will increase business costs and make Australia uncompetitive.
Seems the New Zealand right may have to find another free market paradise to pack up and leave for if they don’t get their way. Somalia, anyone?