Supporting workplace advice for our most vulnerable workers


The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, today announced assistance for Community Based Employment Advice Services that deliver vital workplace services and advice for our most vulnerable workers.

Difficulties at work can put huge pressure on working families and the free advice provided by these services helps people with putting food on the table and paying the rent or mortgage.

With the risk of Mr Abbott’s Work Choices should he be elected, services such as this one are even more important.

The funding will be shared across existing services, including the Working Women’s Centres in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland and the Employment Law Centre of Western Australia.

Speaking at the Employment Law Centre in Perth today, Ms Gillard said that these organisations provide services like a telephone advice service; self-help information sessions for people representing themselves before Fair Work Australia; an evening legal advice service; community legal education and a research service.

These not-for-profit organisations that play a valuable role in providing advice, assistance and information to Australians who experience difficulties in asserting and exercising their workplace rights. Funding will total $1.2 million over two years and will provide certainty for staff and the thousands of people each year who use these services.

The Australian Government will further develop Community Based Employment Advice Services, by working with the State governments to:

In future provide a more even and secure funding base for the Community Based Employment Advice Services to be based on triennial agreements,Explore the possibility of new centres in those states where none exist,Make funding more consistent across all centres, and Establish consistency across the centres so that things like staff exchange programs, information sharing, referral protocols and access to training and support can happen.

Ms Gillard heard the stories of clients who had been helped by the Employment Law Centre, including a woman who was assisted to bring about an unfair dismissal case after she was sacked after complaining of sexual harassment; and of a man who not only was sacked after taking leave to look after his terminally ill wife, but was found was being paid under the award for long periods of time.

The Rudd Government has delivered on our promise to get rid of Work Choices and create the new Fair Work system including by funding these kinds of services.

Tony Abbott and Senator Eric Abetz pose a risk to keeping our economy strong and are determined to impose extreme policies like Work Choices on working Australians.

Source: Australian Ministers Media Centre