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Review puts penalty rates, minimum wage, unfair dismissal at risk

Jan 23, 2015Update

The minimum wage, penalty rates, unfair dismissal, and a range of other workplace conditions will be put under the microscope this year, with the Productivity Commission yesterday revealing it is conducting a large-scale review of the industrial relations system.

In what will be seen as a huge concern for workers, the commission chairman Peter Harris told reporters that the review will open the way for significant changes to the current federal workplace laws.

The commission is expected to hand down its report in November, and the Abbott Government has said that it will take any key reforms into next Federal Election.

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney said unions will use the review to make the case for significant improvements in Australian’s rights at work.

“The Government wants this process to take workers backwards but we are determined to push for improvements,” Ms Kearney said.

“Since coming to office the Abbott Government has been focused on cutting the living standards of all Australians, whether through the GP co-payment or higher university fees, and unfortunately this inquiry looks like more of the same.”

Click here to see part of a press conference Ged Kearney did with a local worker.

See more information about the Productivity Review via the ABC here.

You can see the terms of reference for the review here. 

And you can see the Australian Unions website here.