Greenfields Agreements costing employees

A REPORT commissioned by the Fair Employment Advocate has highlighted the high use of Employer Greenfields Agreements in the Western Australian mining and construction industries, resulting in lost entitlements for workers.

Conducted by Monash University, the report is said to conduct a thorough analysis of this new type of employment agreement made possible by WorkChoices.

Fair Employment Advocate Helen Creed said the Employer Greenfields Agreements (EGAs) are drafted by employers before workers are hired and so no consultation with employees or unions is required.

“Of the 77 EGAs registered in WA, construction and mining accounted for 72.7% compared to just 29.6% nationally,” Creed said.

“According to the report, even though most people on EGAs in mining and construction are receiving above award pay, which reflects the general situation across those industries, it appears they are also working longer hours or missing out on meal breaks.

“Maximum working hours in excess of 38 hours a week were provided for in 19.5% of WA EGAs where the national figure was only 10%,” she said.

“The agreements are inherently unfair because prospective workers have no chance to see the contract before it is registered and the Monash report confirms workers under these types of agreements are being exploited.

“The workers on EGAs in WA are working longer, harder and with fewer entitlements. That these agreements can be made without any employee consultation is baffling.”

Fair Employment Advocate

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