Nothing fair about this "fairness test"

AWAs arrive faster than they're processed, and increasingly, they fail the fairness test. 6 September, there was a backlog of 110,000 AWAs awaiting vetting; 9 November - the backlog was 142,000.

MP Hockey's office "assures" me that "the Workplace Authority is doing everything possible to ensure agreements are processed in a timely manner." [6 November, letter]

MP Hockey should tell that to the many hundreds of thousands of hard-working Australians covered by backlogged AWAs.

Instead, PM Howard, master of spin, asserts, "I think what it indicates is the fairness test is working." [10 November, Sydney Morning Herald]


Nearly 50% of AWAs fail to provide sufficient information. Any car manufacturer with that failure rate would be out of business! Nearly 15% of AWAs required amendment or further information. We would prosecute any bank for such an error rate! Fully 1% of AWAs failed
out-right and were cancelled. We would sue any medical professional with that failure rate!

As usual, those who can afford it the least suffer the most at the hands of this Government. While employers have 14 days to "pay the required backpay," that happens only *after* the Workplace Authority has made its decision on the AWA. With the huge backlog, requests for further information, and amending AWAs, this process takes MONTHS.

AWAs and the fairness test have created a bureaucratic nightmare. "I give this rock solid guarantee our policy will not cause a cut in the take home pay of Australian workers." [PM Howard, 7 July 2005, ABC]

Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of workers whose AWAs have been knocked back for failing the fairness test.

Judy Bamberger,
O'Connor ACT

Contact information below.

Judy Bamberger
O'Connor ACT 2602
+61-2-6247-6220 (work and fax)
+61-2-6247-4746 (home)
+61-404-062-926 (mobile)

See also