Background

 

APSCo Australia has continually challenged the language of contracting and more importantly how the “terminology understood by the market relates to the indicative criteria enshrined in legislation." APSCo Australia continues to support the notion of choice strongly indicated by many workers have no desire to become permanent employees and actually enjoy the freedom and financial incentives associated with self-employment and other emerging engagement models.

 

 

APSCo Position Statement

 

APSCo is committed to the need for transparency of contractor engagement and campaigns consistently to have legislation reviewed to improve the clarity of all forms of engagement status, in particular the Independent Contractors’ Act.  

 

APSCo believes it is important not to lose sight of the main objective of the Independent Contractors Act 2006 (Cth) (ICA Act), which is to “protect the freedom” of contractors to enter into contracts to supply their services, to “recognise independent contracting as a legitimate form of work arrangement that is primarily commercial”, and to “prevent interference” with “genuine” contracting agreements (section 3 of the ICA Act).

 

APSCo Australia strongly supports the need to navigate a new way forward to keep the best traditions of a fair go for all, while taking Australia into the technological age. We need to move to being smart, agile and globally relevant in business, employment and legislation. This will require a collaborative and creative approach to all forms of talent engagement.

 

APSCo recommends the following points to develop a creative workforce model for the future:

 

1)  National strategy based on basic principles: quality work and protections; recognising choice; maximising technology.

2)  Flexibility should be protected, but ensuring fairness for all, and clear distinctions for those legitimately self-employed as contractors. 

3)  Legislation should be clearly articulated to assist companies to identify the appropriate engagement models, for the changing labour markets

4)  This articulation should also deliver platforms to ensure workers understand their rights, including protections for dependent contractors.

5)  Support and resources to ensure good management and strong employment relations practices within all organisations no matter the engagement model.

6)  Maintenance of a strong approach to workplace health and safety and to increased diversity in the workplace.

7)  Strategies to ensure that the workforce of the future can believe in measurable progress in skills, in sufficient remuneration and in recognition for the way they wish to work and how they wish to engage.