IR Omnibus Bill entrenches ‘permanent casual’ rort in mining

Published: 8 Feb 2021

The Miners Union will today give evidence at a Senate Inquiry about how the Federal Government’s IR Omnibus Bill exacerbates rampant casualisation in the mining industry.

The CFMEU Mining Division’s submission to the IR Omnibus Bill Senate Inquiry beginning today in Townsville says the Bill gives big mining and labour hire companies a free pass to continue exploiting casuals in roles that are in practice full-time.

The Bill seeks to overturn important Federal Court wins for casual mineworkers that recognise the real, full-time nature of the hours and rosters they work.

Key areas of concern for mineworkers are:

  • a proposed new definition of casual based purely on the terms of the contract signed by the employer and employee, not the reality of the subsequent work arrangements;
  • weak and unenforceable casual conversion provisions which are easy for employers to get around;
  • denying mineworkers found to have been incorrectly classified as casuals from seeking backpaid entitlements;
  • preventing third parties including unions from having a say over enterprise agreements in their industries.

“At a time when mineworkers need intervention and support from their political representatives to reverse rampant casualisation and wage-cutting in their industry, these elements of the Bill would further erode their rights and protections at work,” says the submission.

The Mining and Energy Division’s submission is available here.