Release type: Media Release


Mr Abbott should come clean about his Work Choices plans


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, today called on the Leader of the Opposition to come clean with the Australian public and outline his plans for workplace relations.

Mr Abbott’s continued misleading attack on the Government’s workplace relations laws can only mean one thing – he’s softening up the electorate for a return to the hated Work Choices system.

Ms Gillard says he has to answer some simple questions:

Mr Abbott, will you reintroduce any part of Work Choices?

Will you remove the unfair dismissal laws for all workers?

Will you reintroduce individual statutory contracts like AWAs?

Under the Liberals’ Work Choices, hard working Australians could be sacked for no reason and basic entitlements like redundancy and holiday pay were stripped away.

Under the Rudd Government’s Fair Work Act, Australian workers have rights and protections, including:

  • 10 National Employment Standards covering maximum weekly hours of work, annual leave, parental leave, penalty rates and redundancy pay.
  • Simple, Modern Awards
  • Unfair Dismissal protections
  • Fair Bargaining
  • Take Home Pay Orders which ensure no worker can lose their take home pay as a result of modern awards.

By creating a national system, Fair Work removes the burden of unnecessary overlap and duplication between State and Federal Laws. Recent analysis by Access Economics estimates that the national system will save the Australian economy around $4.8 billion over the next decade.

The Australian people thought they had buried Work Choices forever at the last election. I call on the Leader of the Opposition to come clean on his plans to bring it back.