JULY 7, 2020 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) will be fighting for workers’ entitlement to 10 days personal leave in the High Court this week, as Mondelez and the Australian Government argue to cut that entitlement for shift workers.
Decisions in both the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Court recognised shift workers’ entitlement to 10 days paid personal leave as calculated by their normal hours of work, acknowledging that any other calculation would short change them.
The 12-hour days worked by Cadbury employees entitles them to 120 hours of paid personal leave per year. Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, argued that workers should only receive 76 hours of personal leave under the NES, based on 10 days of 7.6 hours work each.
The Government has supported Mondelez in the Fair Work Commission, the Federal Court and now the High Court, with Attorney-General Christian Porter already indicating that the Government may seek to legislate reform if the High Court decides in favour of shift workers.
Quotes attributable to John Short, AMWU Tasmania State Secretary:
It should not be lost on anyone that that Morrison Government is currently arguing to cut sick leave for more than a million people doing shift work while we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
It is appalling to see the Morrison Government continue to side with a profitable multinational over shift workers at a time when we’ve seen just how important it is to have strong minimum standards for sick leave in our workplace laws.
One in three Australian workers are already without access to paid personal leave but here is the Morrison Government trying to undermine that entitlement for many of those who are lucky enough to have it.
When the Fair Work Commission hands down a decision the Government supports, such as the recent minimum wage change, we hear Scott Morrison touting his respect for the independent process, yet his Government has intervened at every step on this issue.
Where is the respect for the independent process in flagging legislative change to override a potential High Court decision that they simply don’t like?