I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak on the Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020. Everyone has a right to a liveable income and a right to a safe, secure and meaningful job that pays them decent wages to live a good life. Even before the pandemic, we should have been really concerned about unemployment in Australia. In March 2020, the national unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent and was even higher for young people, at 11.6 per cent. The underemployment crisis has been one which has been hidden for far too long.
Omit subparagraph (b)(ii) and add, at the end of the amendment:
(c) Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020, the provisions of the bill be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 6 November 2020.
That Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 8) 2020, made under the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020, be disallowed [F2020L01165].
The government don't care about workers. They don't care about the economy. They don't care about protecting the planet for future generations. Their vision for the future is one of low wages, of job insecurity, and of profits over people. They want to use the COVID-19 crisis to enrich their corporate donors and fight culture wars, and not much else. Rather than creating the jobs of the future, they are pushing a so-called 'gas-fired recovery'—a totally backwards idea, brought to you by the government's mates in the gas industry.
I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020. The bill extends the prescribed period of operations for the coronavirus payment framework, which allows JobKeeper to be extended until March of next year. It also enables the ATO to share some JobKeeper payment information with the Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies. The bill extends the temporary JobKeeper fair work provisions in part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act, except for those relating to annual leave, until next March.
(21:18): I rise on behalf of the Greens to support the Labor amendment. This amendment removes the new category of legacy employers. These are employers who are no longer eligible for JobKeeper, but they will still be able to use the flexibility measures, such as reducing workers' hours by up to 40 per cent and changing dates, locations and shift times.
The Greens support the motion. Paid pandemic leave should be for all workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the profound precariousness and inequality that exists in workplaces. No-one—not a single person—should be forced to choose between protecting their health and the health of those around them and being plunged into economic hardship, yet this is the exact situation many workers find themselves in. The government needs to support workers and guarantee and fund a safety net so all workers have access to at least 14 days of paid pandemic leave. This needs to happen right now.