A union video promoting reform of the Howard Government’s General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS), which is seen as inadequate in terms of protecting employee entitlements when companies become insolvent. Various workers talk about the trauma of losing their jobs without receiving their entitlements, such as holiday and sick pay, long service leave, superannuation and redundancy payments.
Union officials argue that GEERS is the result of a political fix by Prime Minister John Howard, after his brother’s textile company National Textiles collapsed in 2000, leaving workers without their entitlements. GEERS allows employers to shift their obligations onto the taxpayer, while leaving many workers exposed to substantial losses on their entitlements. The union is calling on the government to create a more effective scheme to protect workers’ entitlements, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Author: J Bird, 2023