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Government cracks down on secret company payments to unions

Michelle Grattan writes in The Conversation (20.3.17) about new federal government proposals to impose harsh penalties upon companies making ‘secret’ payments and employment deals with unions.

‘The government has announced legislation to ban secret payments between employers and unions, with companies facing criminal penalties of up to A$4.5 million for breaches when the payment could have a corrupting influence.

‘While payments for “genuine” purposes will be permitted, they will have to be disclosed.

‘The crackdown was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash. Meanwhile the opposition continued to ramp up its campaign against the government over penalty rates, with Bill Shorten introducing a private member’s bill to protect them.

‘The government will make a written submission this week to the Fair Work Commission’s consideration of the transitional arrangements for introducing its cut to Sunday penalty rates. There will be a hearing on the arrangements in early May.’

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