Consideration in detail
Mr PESUTTO — The minister may not be in a position to answer this, but I will ask it in any event. I am just interested to know whether recent data shows whether there has been a decrease or increase in the number of disputes over long service issues in the Magistrates Court. As I said, I appreciate the minister may not have data at hand on that.
Mr PESUTTO — Compared with the current provisions, which I know the act contains, in relation to disputes being determined by the industrial division of the Magistrates Court, I just wanted to ask the minister whether in its totality the bill widens the circumstances in which disputes may find their way into the Magistrates Court.
Mr PESUTTO — I thank the minister for her response. These questions are not about objecting to what is proposed. I just wonder whether any of the submissions and consultations that the government took into account considered whether there is a loss of benefit in the original purposes of long service leave which is to offer long-serving employees an opportunity to have a decent break after a very long period of service ending with shorter periods of leave.
Again I am not asking this to cabal with the changes, because I take the minister at face value that there must have been a good deal of support for this, but I just wondered, looking over the bill, whether we lose that opportunity to encourage staff to take a long and well-earned break after a long period of service.
Mr PESUTTO — I turn to ask the minister about clause 18 and the provision that long service leave can be taken for a period of not less than one day. I am trying to think back to the current act. It appears to be changed, but I do ask the minister whether that is a change from the current provisions and, if so, what the rationale might be for that change?