The federal government won’t legislate on penalty rates because it would become an all-consuming task.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz has reiterated the government’s determination to leave any decision on penalty rates up to the Fair Work Commission.
The government in January made a submission to the commission’s review of the award system, asking it to consider whether extra pay for working particular times of the day was appropriate.
“If a government were to start legislating industrial award, you would be legislating all day every day on people’s conditions,” Senator Abetz told ABC radio on Friday.
He said Thursday’s jobs figures, showing the unemployment rate lifting to six per cent, was “wash through” from the former Labor government’s policies.
The solution Senator Abetz offered, to drive the surge in unemployment back down, was abolishing the carbon and mining taxes, reinstating a tough building industry watchdog and changing rules for new employment agreements.