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7 Sunrise



Subject: IR Reform

MATT DORAN: Well the Government will introduce its much anticipated overhaul of industrial relations laws to Parliament today. The proposed changes include allowing employers to offer employees conditions that might well be worse than what they currently have in an attempt to help businesses in distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Casual workers will be given paths to permanent employment while part-timers will be allowed to work extra hours without being paid at a higher rate.

Joining me now is Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. Minister, thank you for your time. You say this bill has one simple goal, an important one too, to help drive jobs growth as we move out of the pandemic. It'll be a difficult balance as you- when you look at how much of a battering the economy has received this year. But will it come, do you think, at a cost of worker's rights?

CHRISTIAN PORTER: Everything in this bill is designed to ensure that there are more jobs for more people, more hours available to work if that's what you want to do and more businesses surviving and thriving on the other side of this COVID-19 recession. And what we have determined is that there have been longstanding problems that need fixing in the system, barriers to job growth that need removing.

And given what we've been through, business and people who want to keep their jobs and move into new jobs deserve a Government who wants to do something to fix these problems.

MATT DORAN: Minister, many are arguing that the reforms appear to perhaps favour businesses or employers over employees. Can you guarantee that no employee will be worse off under these new agreements made after these reforms?

CHRISTIAN PORTER: Well, everyone's worse off if a business fails and hundreds of jobs go. And everything in this suite of reforms is designed to keep businesses growing, to grow new jobs, to give people extra hours, to create paths from casual to permanent employment. So all of this is designed around the extraordinary circumstances we're in to make sure that people have jobs that they can grow into - where their hours can grow - where they can do better - and where businesses survive.

MATT DORAN: Such important reforms. Really important to get it right. Thank you very much for joining us this morning Industrial Relations Minister, Christian Porter.