Claims That Community Wage Breaches ILO Conventions are False

  • Peter McCardle
Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)

It is completely untrue to suggest that the Community Wage policy breaches international agreements or laws of any kind, including ILO conventions, Associate Social Services, Work and Income Minister Peter McCardle said today.

He said that remains the case no matter how many times activists opposed to the Community Wage try to assert the opposite.

Mr McCardle said it is one of many false claims that keep being repeated.

"Firstly, the penalties and element of compulsion are not suddenly being introduced out of the blue. They are not new. They are largely an extension of the rules which have governed Community Taskforce work schemes for many years. The ILO (International Labour Organisation) had been informed of the way the Taskforce operated, and had raised no objections.

"Secondly, before the Community Wage changes were made - as happens when all legislation is being prepared - the Government ensured that the proposals comply with current laws of this country, in additional to international treaties and obligations. Appropriate advice from officials was sought, and the result was the Government was satisfied the policy would not breach international obligations, including ILO conventions.

"In fact, those conventions do allow for obligations to be enforced if required. ILO convention 44 explicitly recognises that a fundamental aspect of any unemployment benefit system is the application of incentives and sanctions representative of the reciprocal obligations involved, " Mr McCardle said.