I have got to say, I’m astonished by the government’s reaction to this the whole way through. Where they are talking about extraordinary sums of money that they believe will now need to be paid as a result. That would only be the case if there has been widespread breaking of the law by Australian employers. I certainly hope that’s not the case.
But I have to say if employers much more broadly than WorkPac have been acting in breach of the law, if they have been refusing to give employees the security that they were legally entitled to, then the last thing the parliament should be doing is acting as a protection racket to cover for people who have broken the law. If job security that people are entitled to has not been given to them, then the response from the Australian parliament – and I have got to say from the Australian government – should be to make sure that the law is upheld.
A whole lot of people, particularly casuals, have found themselves with nowhere to go during Covid-19, have found themselves not entitled to a whole lot of what is offered to people in permanent work. Every Australian right now should be on the side of job security.
And this decision says that when a business has not delivered on job security, then the law should step in. We shouldn’t be changing the law to let businesses that have broken it off the hook.