In response to Employment Minister Eric Abetz’s ruling out changes to penalty rates and the minimum wage after the next election, the Greens Deputy Leader and industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today announced the Greens would move to stop the Productivity Commission examining these in its inquiry into the workplace relations framework when the Senate sits again next week.
“The Minister has expressed ‘surprise’ that the government-initiated Productivity Commission inquiry is looking at penalty rates and the minimum wage,” said Mr Bandt.
“If the government is truly ruling out changes to penalty rates and the minimum wage, the Productivity Commission should immediately stop a now pointless inquiry into these matters.”
“The Greens will test whether changes to penalty rates and the minimum wage are truly off the table.”
“I suspect that the attack on penalty rates and the minimum wage isn’t dead but just resting. However, I’d be delighted to be proven wrong and see the government support the Greens’ motion to remove those matters from the Productivity Commission’s inquiry.”
The motion to be moved in the Senate next week reads:
That the Senate notes:
1. The Productivity Commission has indicated it would examine penalty rates and the minimum wage in its inquiry into the workplace relations framework; and
2. The Employment Minister has expressed surprise at the Productivity Commission examining penalty rates and the minimum wage and has ruled out any changes even if the inquiry recommends them;
1. The Government to direct the Productivity Commission to exclude the minimum wage and penalty rates from its inquiry into the workplace relations framework.
Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054