Federal Labor wants to formalise penalty rates, overtime, shift loading and public holiday pay when the Fair Work Commission sets award rates and conditions.
Prime minister Julia Gillard announced the new policy at an ACTU community summit in Canberra.
Australian Nursing Federation federal secretary Lee Thomas welcomed the move, saying the initiative would “protect the incomes and entitlements of thousands of nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing across the country.
“The policy outlined by the prime minister will assist in protecting the rights of nursing and care staff who work irregular, unpredictable and unsocial hours at night, on weekends and on public holidays.”
Thomas said the ANF was encouraged by the new objective in the Fair Work Act, which particularly targeted nursing and care staff in part-time or casual positions, which are types of employment where penalty rates and other conditions are often ignored or substantially reduced.
“The ANF’s growing memberships, working in the health and aged care sectors, are subject to extraordinary demands because of the nature of their work and the hours they are required to work.
“That’s why we believe this policy is the most appropriate mechanism to ensure that the work of nurses, midwives and AINs is recognised and that they receive fair and proper remuneration for their valuable contribution in delivering quality care to the community, at any hour of the day or night, weekends or on public holidays,” Thomas said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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