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Another BIG win for the ‘little’ person

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

We’re delighted to report that the Vulnerable Workers Bill passed the Senate on the evening of 4 September. This is the new law resulting from the 7-Eleven worker wages fraud scandal exposed by 4 Corners/Fairfax in late 2015.

The Bill passed with only minor amendments, but that kept the integrity of the protective measures in place. Here’s our analysis of the Bill from May. The law will not only protect low-paid workers but will:

  • Improve business certainty for the 79,000 franchisee operators in Australia, the vast majority of whom are small business people.
  • Substantially close a loophole in existing law that enables some franchisors to argue that they are not responsible.
  • Will improve the community standing of franchising in Australia, thus strengthening franchising by demonstrating ethical compliance with minimum wages laws.
We campaigned strongly for the Bill, particularly:
But things went badly for them when it was discovered that Bruce Billson received payments from the franchisors while still an MP.

Our congratulations to
  • Minister Michaelia Cash for putting the Bill forward and standing her ground against concerted ‘big end of town’ attempts to kill the Bill
  • The Senate independents for supporting the Bill, thus ensuring its passage.
This win for small business people comes on top of recent successes, namely:
Federal politics might be a mess in several areas, but it’s great to see these small business reforms locking into place.
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