Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017: Committee Stage
I was remiss in not mentioning something and thank Senator Warfield for reminding me. The joint committee has already started its hearings. Officials from my Department were the first group to be invited in, although I do not believe they were too pleased about that. Nevertheless, there was a robust set of hearings. We need to sit down collectively and discuss areas such as unannounced inspections. We need particular targeted plans for particular industries. The construction industry is an obvious one, but there are loads, from places where one gets ones nails and hair done up to the pharmaceutical and IT industry. The slight difference between the cases cited by Senator Craughwell - I will not use the names of employers - is that in the larger companies, it is not always the case that the self-employment is bogus because both parties co-operatively decide that it is beneficial for both for different reasons that the workers classify themselves as contractors or self-employed. We need another plan of action to deal with the people who are knowingly declaring as self-employed rather than being forced to being declared as self-employed. We should deal with the people who are unhappy with their situation first and then we can get to the others, hopefully, by the middle of next year. I expect that by the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second next year that the body of work will be sufficient to decide how to move forward.