Whitehaven latest to warn against ‘same job, same pay’

Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn…

Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn has expressed concerns over the ‘same job, same pay’ legislation.

The ‘same job, same pay’ bill will require employers to pay labour hire workers the same rate as direct employees doing the same job.

Coinciding with the ‘same job, same pay’ bill is the ‘closing loopholes’ bill, which criminalises wage theft, sets minimum standards for workers in the gig economy, closed the forced permanent casual worker loophole and the labour hire loophole.

When speaking to The Australian Financial Review (AFR), he described the industrial relations reforms as “terribly demotivating” and called for a method for rewarding experienced staff to be developed.

“We just need to work through how this framework plays out, in terms of how we are going to reward people who have ostensibly similar titles but vastly different experiential bases,” Flynn said.

“All these things have got to be worked through because that could be terribly demotivating if you are an experienced person and you are getting paid the same as someone who has got much less experience working next to you.”

Whitehaven’s concerns echo sentiments raised by BHP, New Hope, South32 and Hancock Prospecting.

The Minerals Council of Australia is currently leading a $24 million campaign against the reforms, which is backed by major miners such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Glencore.

Flynn’s comments come as Whitehaven is preparing to finalise its acquisition of BHP’s Daunia and Blackwater mines in early April.

Flynn told AFR that 95 per cent of staff at the Daunia and Blackwater mines have accepted an offer to join Whitehaven once the acquisition is completed.

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