THE $19K Employment Exclusion Zone


The gap between the Newstart allowance and the federal minimum wage has created a $19,000 Employment Exclusion Zone.

It is this zone – the difference between the $12,922 Newstart allowance and the $31,536 federal minimum wage where it is illegal for employers to take on people.

It is the ghostlands for the unemployed – those people willing to work for less than the minimum wage.

These people are the long term unemployed, young workers, students, single parents and so on.

The most recent (September 2012) ABS People Not In The Labour Force survey found there were 106,600 discouraged job seekers.

These were people who wanted to work and were available to start work if offered a job, but were not actively looking for one because they believed they would not find one.

These are the people in the Employment Exclusion Zone. Read more

2013 Conference Update

The Society’s annual conference is going to be held on Monday July 8 with a half day format to encourage broader participation and media coverage.

VENUE:         Morgan’s 401 Collins Street, Melbourne.
DATE:            July 8, 2013
TIME:             12.00 – 1800

Read more

Minimum Wage Submission



This submission argues that, in circumstances where Australia’s weekly minimum wage is already about equivalent to half of average earnings and is the highest nationally mandated minimum wage in the world, further increases are unnecessary and are likely to have adverse effects on the employment of unskilled or lesser skilled workers. It also argues that the minimum wage is both ineffective and inefficient as a welfare measure to assist low wage earners. Accordingly, the HR Nicholls Society recommends there be no increase in the federal minimum wage and that the FWC should recommend to the government that the minimum wage be scrapped. Read more

Pro Union Deals Have No Mandate or Remit

In just seven recent announcements the government has again displayed its pro union bias that works to undermine the economy.

These deals include:

  • Tying $1.2 billion in aged care reforms to union based EBAs which favour the HSU;
  • Tying $300 million for child care pay subsidies to union based EBAs in favour United Voice;
  • Legislating to entrench penalty rates;
  • Undermining 457 visas to garner union support;
  • Subverting right of entry conditions;
  • Making the Fair Work Ombudsman police 457 visas; and
  • Forcing employers to pay for transportation and accommodation costs for union officials.

Read more

Public Policy Corrupted

The government may now have resorted to union conscription for aged care workers, as it is reported that commonwealth funding for aged care providers would be tied to union-based enterprise bargaining agreements.

This proposal amounts to a direct intervention in the private sector by the commonwealth to seek a favourable outcome for a vested interest – the union movement.

Read more

No Excuse for Delay

Media reports today that the coalition will delay any meaningful reform of the workplace relations system until after 2016 are disappointing at best.

To use the shield of a Productivity Commission review of the workplace relations system is not an excuse to shirk the immediate changes to the workplace system that should take place.

Read more

Opposition on Right Track with Increased Penalties

The HR Nicholls Society supports the move by the federal opposition to reform the Registered Organisations Act to bring its penalities into line with the Corporations Act 2001.

 The reform would increase penalties to $340,000 to provide for criminal as well as civil sanctions including imprisonment of up to five years.

 The government in response to the HSU scandal derisorily increased the penalties on individuals to $6,600 and on organisations to $33,000 and they are under the Government’s increases still simply civil penalties.

 This was a manifestly inappropriate response to the HSU scandal.

 The HR Nicholls Society recommends that the government support the reform in an effort to stamp out corruption.

Further information: Ian Hanke 0407 841 957