The Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Fair Work Commission to legally require businesses to guarantee part-time work to new parents after returning from parental leave.
The ACTU said in a statement it will lodge a claim today as a part of the commission’s current review of modern awards, proposing workers should be given a legal right to return to work in a more flexible capacity, such as part time work or reduced hours.
“Currently employees have the right to request flexible work arrangements under the Fair Work Act but employers are not obliged to reasonably accommodate the request,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said.
“The ACTU claim recognises that all workplaces are different and doesn’t dictate specific terms – instead it puts in place a process that requires employers to genuinely consider alternative work arrangements when women return to work.”
Fairfax reports the suggestion has outraged business groups, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which have called on the government to take a stance against the claim.
ANZ chief steps down
Mark Whelan will take over the reins as chief executive of ANZ in Australia in April, succeeding Philip Chronican, who is leaving the bank to pursue a non-executive career.
Whelan is currently managing director of global commercial banking for ANZ and has been a member of the ANZ management board since October last year. He will report to ANZ chief executive Mike Smith in his new role.
Chronican’s responsibilities as global head of retail will be taken on by David Hisco, chief executive of ANZ New Zealand.
In a statement, Smith said Whelan’s appointment is a “natural step” as ANZ is focused on “developing internal talent with deep experience in our major domestic markets and in Asia”.
“Under Phil’s leadership, our Australian franchise is now stronger than ever with consistent above system growth in home and business lending, a stronger funding profile and high levels of customer satisfaction and staff engagement,” Smith said.
“Mark has been part of the Australian leadership team since 2011 and will ensure continuity in our strategy and financial performance in Australia with a strong focus driving the unique opportunities that our super regional strategy provides us.”
Local shares up
Aussies shares opened up this morning at the start of what promises to be an interesting week for traders, according to Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
“The key market drivers are the Greek debt negotiation, earning reports and ongoing buying momentum. The latter is now being assisted by renewed support for mining and energy stocks,” said Spooner.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 1.4 points to 5878.9 points at 12:23PM AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.26%, jumping 46.94 points to 18,019.4 points.