Labour bites

No carer’s leave for fathers at BHP

Two BHP Coal employees who helped look after their newborn babies while their partners recovered from caesarean sections were not entitled to parental leave as the primary care givers under the company’s enterprise agreement, the Fair Work Commission has ruled.

Under their Enterprise Agreement, employees wanting to claim primary carer parental leave must provide the company with a statutory declaration indicating that they intend to be the primary caregiver of their child. The two workers provided the required declarations.

The union said that the employees had made a decision, with their partners and based on medical advice, that they were the best person to carry out the duties of primary caregiver.

But BHP argued that it was not intended that male employees would be able to access primary carer leave in circumstances where the mother of the child had a caesarean section and merely needed ‘spousal support’.

Deputy President Asbury concluded that under the enterprise agreement, the mother’s condition had to be such that she was incapable of being the primary carer.

(Source: Workplaceexpress)

What age is too young?

In San Francisco children as young as nine years have been given pamphlets referring to sexual topics that some parents say were inappropriate and far too advanced for their children.

The Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine handed out by a parish priest asked such questions as, “Did I perform impure acts by myself or with another?” (Specifics omitted by this writer). “Did I practice artificial birth control or was I prematurely sterilized?”, “Have I had an abortion”?

One parent commented that for young children such material was itself “impure content”.

(Source: San Francisco Chronicle)

Public servants lose access to FWC

More than 8000 Immigration Department public servants are to be stripped of some of their rights to unfair dismissal appeals as part of the formation of the Australian Border Force.

The Australian Border Force bill, currently before Parliament, contains provisions for the boss of the new department to summarily fire public servants for “serious misconduct”, with no recourse to the industrial umpire.

The main workplace union is crying foul, saying the new rules unfairly strip workers of legal rights but the department says a sacking for serious misconduct could still be appealed in the courts.

(Source: Canberra Times)

Does FIFA condone slave labour?

The recent FIFA announcement that it was moving the 2022 World Cup to November or December over concerns that the players would find it too hard to compete in the blistering heat reeks of hypocrisy, say critics.

While FIFA has been wringing its hands over football playing conditions, they have displayed negligible concern for the conditions of the migrant construction workers who are building the infrastructure and venues for the tournament.

In 2013 it was estimated that over 500 Indian workers were killed in Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 World Cup. This revelation provoked worldwide concern and condemnation of FIFA’s glib attitude towards Qatar’s working conditions.

More than a year after protests and representations nothing has changed. (Source: