One Nation accused of throwing older workers under a bus

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The Morrison government’s controversial JobMaker legislation has passed the Senate without the amendments designed to add protection for older workers after One Nation backflipped on its decision to block the unamended scheme.

On Tuesday we reported that independent senators Rex Patrick and Pauline Hanson had announced that they wouldn’t support the bill, which opened the door for Labor and the Greens to pass amendments that added in protection for older workers.

The JobMaker hiring credit scheme, which was announced in last month’s Budget, aims to provide employees with a financial incentive to hire younger workers, but experts are concerned that it will lead to businesses firing more mature and experienced staff in a bid to reduce expenses.

The program gives employers $200 a week for employing a jobless person under 30 and $100 for hiring those aged 30 to 35.

In the Senate, Labor proposed amendments that required the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to publish information about the performance of the scheme, create reporting requirements for companies receiving JobMaker credits and state that government must create avenues for whistleblowers and dispute resolution procedures for the program.

The Greens also proposed amendments that would ban companies that have underpaid their staff accessing the scheme and prevent companies sacking staff and claiming the credit.

The amendments were rejected in the House of Representatives and sent back to the Senate, where One Nation supported the legislation passing without amendment.

Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi accused One Nation of throwing older workers under a bus by passing the legislation without the protection amendments.

“There is nothing in this bill stopping employers from firing their staff or from reducing their hours,” Ms Faruqi said.

“Not only can they fire their staff and reduce their hours but those workers have no avenue to complain or to have a dispute resolution process. That’s what One Nation are voting for.

“They are throwing all workers – young, old or otherwise – under the bus.

“I hope that they will face the consequences of this decision. But, unfortunately, it will be too late for the workers that they have thrown under the bus.”

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts told Parliament the party had changed its mind on the legislation after being presented with new data on unemployment rates between younger and older generations.

“When we get new data, we have the courage and the integrity to change our mind,” Mr Roberts said.

“The Australian unemployment rate for people aged under 35 years is 10.4 per cent.

“The second figure is that the Australian unemployment rate for people older than 35 is 4 per cent. I know damn well that people around Australia who are over 35 years of age will recognise those figures, because they care about younger people, not just themselves.”

Labor senator Katy Gallagher questioned the government’s motivation for not wanting to add protections to its JobMaker hiring credits scheme.

“The fact that the government has refused to accept the amendments and is asking the Senate to not insist on them without an explanation really begs the question: why is the government opposed to amendments that stop employers from being able to sack existing workers?” Ms Gallagher asked.

“There was no engagement, no explanation, no justification for why relatively minor but important amendments could not be agreed to.

“This hiring credit scheme may do some good for young workers, and that is why we have supported the scheme, albeit with concerns. Those concerns go to issues like job security, the fact that the scheme is pretty modest and the fact that government has no answer for what it will do for unemployed workers over the age of 35.”

Do you support the JobMaker hiring credits scheme for younger workers? Do you think there should be protections to ensure older workers are not sacked to hire younger workers at a cheaper rate?

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Written by Ben

35 Comments

Total Comments: 35
  1. 1
    0

    “Do you support the JobMaker hiring credits scheme for younger workers? Do you think there should be protections to ensure older workers are not sacked to hire younger workers at a cheaper rate?”

    Young workers make up 20.9% of the unemployed, those between 35 and 49 make up 4.3% of the unemployed. After the GFC, it took almost 15 years for young workers unemployment numbers to be reduced to the number before the GFC. The immediate problem with unemployment is young workers so if there is a problem surely it must be addressed.

    Labor wanted to make amendments that would not have improved the young unemployed and made false claims the older workers will be sacked to employ those eligible for JobMaker claiming that there is nothing in the legislation to stop it happening. The Fair Work Australia legislation covers all of that scenario and more so Labor is just trying to make itself relevant.

    So, yes, I support the legislation and I don’t accept the false premise of the second question as there is legislation already in place to stop older workers being sacked to accommodate younger workers.

  2. 0
    1

    This is one of the few decisions Pauline Hanson has got right.

    • 0
      1

      Are you saying that older workers should be thrown on the scrapheap and never work again she has got is wrong and must be voted out of the senate at the next federal election for been there too long it is time for her to go and you to hang your head in shame how dare you show a lack of respect for your elders and also hang your head in shame for been a fool

    • 0
      0

      Well she has no choice not enough in the Senate. Only her what do u expect when mostly LNP. You voted for LNP

  3. 1
    0

    I’m FED UP with this “older workers” issue. I’m 73 and a primary teacher, working an average of two days a week, in demand and enjoying it. If the Queen, the Pope, presidents and prime ministers can do it, why not other over 55’s and beyond? If older workers want to work, employ them!

  4. 0
    0

    Older workers were already facing difficulties getting employment and when Covid19 hit it was a disaster for them. The Morrison government is great with the help for YOUNGER people but has pretty well thrown older ones under the bus when all they can expect is a help line which does nothing towards paying a mortgage. Pauline Hanson used to be an individual voice but now it seems she represents only another vote for the coalition in pushing it’s agenda as evidenced by quite a number of things she managed to get through for them. It is a sad day indeed when anyone over 30 can be considered too old for a job.

    • 0
      0

      Never mind the boss keeps getting richer thanks to the LNP…..

    • 1
      0

      Sugest Panos grows a brain so that statements he makes are logical.

    • 0
      1

      Older Australians should also remember that they were lied to by the LNP at the last federal election when the LNP stated that they cared about older Australian and now they thrown older worker onto the scrapheap which shows that they are unfit to be in government in either state or Federal and the same applies to One Nation get rid of Pauline Hanson as well

    • 0
      0

      LNP history never cared about older workers or pensioners. They are so corrupt. Pauline still has a voice but the problem is her against how many LNP. Not enough. She can’t change things unless more in Senate.

  5. 0
    0

    The younger ones are the future vote plus they don’t know that working conditions were fought for not given but there again it was the Western Australia and Queensland voters that put this goverment in no use crying over it now

    • 1
      0

      But does that means older workers should be thrown out of work on the scrapheap you fool those over the age of 50 can still work and deserve the chance to work if able to do so the younger worker have no experience to offer employers and therefore should learn to suffer some pain namely a period of unemployment

  6. 0
    1

    The legislation was a serious miscarriage of justice and for those who support it should hang their heads in shame One nation were lied to as they failed to understand that those over 50 would be the ones to suffer this shows that the voters of Qld must vote Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts out of the senate at the next federal election as she and her colleague are unfit to represent the people of Qld in Federal parliament and also this Federal Government also be thrown out of office as well as they lied to Older Australians at the last Federal Election when that stated they cared about older Australians who should remember how the Federal Government as fools who believed lies which were told to them at the last Federal Election

    • 0
      0

      Your just stupid. One n station need more in the Senate. If they had they might be able to change things. LNP don’t care about older Australians never have and never will.

  7. 1
    0

    Older workers were already under the spotlight to be “managed” out of major businesses. This will only become more of a priority at this point. With the government making it much harder for older workers to find employment, mutual obligations for Jobseeker could at least be dropped.

  8. 0
    0

    No. Throwing people over 35 under the bus, these people pay taxes have mortgages and children and need stability in work. Now that’s gone.

    • 1
      0

      This is why you must always give the older workers the jobs over younger jobseekers and also it is stupid to say that more One Nation senators are needed as the are the ones who do not care about older workers just remember Pauline Hanson was first elected as the Liberal member for Oxley(QLD) in 1996 and look what she has done which is like you been a traitor to your fellow Austrlaians younger workers need to learn some pain namely to have a period on jobseeker then they will have more respect for emplpoyers

    • 1
      0

      Except there IS provision in the legislation to protect older workers. They cannot be sacked and replaced b y younger workers. The business MUST INCREASE the workforce not replace it. And further, older workers are also protected by Fair Work legislation. So if they have a case of sacking to be replaced they can take action there. And NO it is no expensive to do so.

      But if you read one of the early posts here from Horace you will see that people under 30 are the biggest losers on the job front during COVID-19 so why would you wish to deprive them in favour of non-existant assumptions about older people.

  9. 0
    0

    Yeh…the system is perfect and every employee can be counted on to do the right thing..they will simply just not hire anyone over 35.
    Fast forward a couple of years and those “ stats “/will be reversed.
    Don’t get me wrong Jobmaker is targeting the right demographic it just needed a few simple amendments to insure the older worker was not a” unintended casualty “of a well meaning initiative

  10. 0
    0

    Yeh…the system is perfect and every employee can be counted on to do the right thing..they will simply just not hire anyone over 35.
    Fast forward a couple of years and those “ stats “/will be reversed.
    Don’t get me wrong Jobmaker is targeting the right demographic it just needed a few simple amendments to insure the older worker was not a” unintended casualty “of a well meaning initiative

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