2015-08-14 17:29:58 Releases

With an increasing number of its members in transient, freelance or short-term employment, MEAA, the union for Australia’s creative professionals, is calling for reforms to make portable long service leave available to all workers.

Journalists, performers, musicians, technicians and venue and event workers are among the most insecure forms of work and are trailing behind in their access to entitlements available to other workers, says the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

In a submission to the Victorian government’s inquiry into long service leave, MEAA has recommended the creation of a multi-industry long service leave “clearing house” into which workers can bank their leave entitlements accrued from different jobs.

Additionally, workers should be entitled to pro-rata long service leave after five years’ work in a single industry, including regular casual work.

MEAA estimates that a significant majority of workers in the industries it covers would currently be unable to receive their full long service leave entitlement because they have not had employment stability for long enough.

MEAA CEO Paul Murphy said jobs in the media, arts and entertainment industries have always been precarious, but over the last five to 10 years, there had been an increasing trend towards engagement of workers in those sectors as contractors, casuals and freelancers, compared to ongoing employment.

This has affected their security of employment and caused a steady decline in the range of statutory and other entitlements that are available to ongoing employees, including redundancy, leave and long service leave.

“Our members are professionally trained and have opted to work permanently in their chosen industry ,” said MEAA CEO Paul Murphy.

“But the nature of the media and arts industries means that they have little job security and must transition from one job to another, which means they rarely, if ever, are entitled to long service leave.

“We have members who have worked in the industry for more than 10 years but have had numerous different jobs in that time, and have no access to redundancy or paid leave.

“It is an inequitable situation that needs to be offset by the creation of a scheme where service in a professional work area over time can be acknowledge and rewarded.
“The long service leave system needs to be reformed to take account for these changes in the way we work, and to ensure that there is not a two-tier system of those in permanent employment with full entitlements, and those in less secure jobs with none.”

MEAA’s recommendations would build on industry-specific portable long service leave schemes, including building and construction, cleaning, coal mining and the public sector.
For more information contact: Mark Phillips 0422 009 011

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Changing nature of work makes portable long service leave essential, says MEAA

With an increasing number of its members in transient, freelance or short-term employment, MEAA, the union for Australia’s creative professionals, is calling for reforms to make portable long service leave available to all workers.

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Last update: October 21, 2015