Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A small improvement

Sue Bradford's renamed Minimum Wage (New Entrants) Amendment Bill is before the House for its committee stage today, and there's been some welcome movement from the government on it. Government members had gutted the bill in Select Committee, replacing straight abolition of youth rates with a scheme which would see them still apply for the first 200 hours of employment. Now, in response to the Greens pointing out that part-time employment could see that period stretch over six or even nine months for some young workers, the government is planning to introduce a three-month cap, after which adult rates will apply. While it's not full equality, it's a small improvement, and a welcome one. Still, I would have expected much better from a self-proclaimed "worker's party" supposedly committed to principles of equality and social justice.