Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022

Guardian Essential poll: almost two-thirds of voters back Labors plan for multi-employer pay deals

Guardian Essential poll: almost two-thirds of voters back Labors plan for multi-employer pay deals


Guardian Essential poll: almost two-thirds of voters back Labors plan for multi-employer pay deals

Half of Australians approve of Labor's industrial relations bill, with even its most controversial proposals for multi-employer pay deals and flexible work rights enjoying majority support.

That is the conclusion of the latest Guardian Essential poll of 1,035 voters, which found exactly 50% say the bill is key to getting wages moving and gives power back to employees.

The poll is a boost to the Albanese government's secure jobs, better pay bill, which passed the House of Representatives on Thursday but needs one more vote to the pass the Senate, where Labor is lobbying the ACT's David Pocock to get it over the line.

Despite unanimous opposition from all major employer groups, including the Council of Small Business Organisations, just 27% of Essential's respondents agreed the bill "gives too much influence to unions and will be bad for the economy and businesses".

The Essential poll found no significant gender difference in support for the bill, but more men said it was bad for the economy and business (35%) than did women (21%), while more women were unsure (29%) than men (16%).

Asked about its individual measures, the poll found majority support for: strengthening the power of lower paid workers to negotiate pay rises (72%), strengthening laws to close the gender pay gap (70%), and giving employees more power to have flexible work conditions, such as varied hours or working from home (66%).

Even the proposal to give "workers the ability to join together across different workplaces to collectively negotiate pay rises", known as multi-employer bargaining, won 62% support with just 14% opposed.

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