THE latest Federal Court decision has provided 92,000 more reasons why the Parliament should support proposed 'Ensuring Integrity' laws that will ensure building unions play by the rules just like everyone else, according to Master Builders Australia.

The judgement (Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (No 2) [2019] FCA 1667) found that the CFMMEU and its officials had broken the Fair Work laws eight times by engaging in coercion and adverse action, resulting in total penalties of $92,000 including $12,000 payable personally an official. 

Master Builders Australia’s CEO Denita Wawn said the case highlighted the urgent need for the Parliament to pass the proposed 'Ensuring Integrity' laws so that building unions learn to play by the rules or face disqualification or deregistration. 

"This is the 24th judgement in just over two years where building unions and their officials have been found guilty of coercion and taking adverse action against a company for not signing up to the union pattern EBA,”  Ms Wawn said. 

"This takes the tally of Federal Court judgements finding against building unions to more than 80 in just over two years, representing almost 450 separate instances where they've been found guilty of breaking Fair Work laws. 

“The judgment also highlights the ongoing trend where building unions and their officials, despite being found guilty of breaking workplace laws, continue to operate with an apparent belief they are above the law. One official involved in the case has broken workplace laws more than 10 times in just the last few years alone,” Ms Wawn said. 

"Unions and their officials who repeatedly and deliberately break the law must learn to play by the rules like everyone else or face the consequences, and that is exactly what the Ensuring Integrity laws will do."

The judgement comes on the back of yesterday's announcement that fresh legal proceedings have started in Queensland where building unions and another official face yet more new allegations of breaking the law, this time by allegedly forcing workers to join a union before they could work. 

Court documents allege that the official engaged in conduct and threats including: 

"You’re not working Sunday. I’m not going to approve you to work Sunday until this grubby little c**t joins the union"; and 

"I remember you now. You were that cheeky f**king little c**t who refused to be part of the union. Youre a grubby little c**t. I remember tearing your papers up". 

Ms Wawn said that this latest case is typical of the illegal and thuggish style that building unions deploy, and which building and construction small businesses face every single day.   

"While there's often a focus on particular CFMMEU officials, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and these cases evidence how widespread and systemic and entrenched the union’s culture of bullying and lawlessness has become,” she said.  

“Bullying is not tolerated in the community so it should not be tolerated from the CFMMEU or its officials. Unions do not have to bully and constantly flout the law to stand up for their members,” Ms Wawn said.

www.masterbuilders.com.au

ends

  • Created on .

HAVING developed an effective disciplinary model to monitor and enforce the FASEA Code of Ethics, ready to go on January 1, 2020, Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA) and other associations representing financial advisers are disappointed in the timing of the government’s decision to move away from this model at this late stage. 

They are urging the Federal Government to work with them on a new disciplinary system for financial advisers.

Australia’s six leading professional associations for financial advisers have withdrawn their application to have Code Monitoring Australia (CMA) approved as a nation-wide scheme for monitoring and enforcing the FASEA Code of Ethics, due to come into force on January 1, 2020, following the government’s announcement that it will establish a single disciplinary body as recommended by the Financial Services Royal Commission.

“The announcement by the government makes it inappropriate for us to proceed with CMA,” said SAFAA CEO Judith Fox. “We need to avoid adding complexity, further duplication and cost to the regulation of financial advice.

“We question the timing of the government’s decision, which will just prolong the uncertainty for financial advisers and the many thousands of Australians they serve," she said.

“The government needs to deliver a clear and workable solution to enforcing ethical conduct. Any code monitoring body must have a solid understanding of the different streams of financial advice that consumers request. The solution must be delivered as efficiently as possible to minimise costs to consumers.”

About Code Monitoring Australia and the FASEA Code

CMA was established with the joint support of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), the Boutique Financial Planners (BFP), the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), the Self-Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association), and the Stockbrokers And Financial Advisers Association of Australia (SAFAA). The Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 (Cth) established education, training, and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers in Australia. The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has been mandated by the Australian Government to implement these standards including annual continuous professional development and mandatory Code of Ethics requirements.

ends

  • Created on .

THE heads of Australia’s six leading professional associations for financial advisers have expressed disappointment in the timing of the Federal Government’s decision today to not proceed with code monitoring, just a month before all financial advisers are due to have registered.

The associations have urged the government to work with them on a new disciplinary system for financial advisers.

As a result of the Federal Government’s announcement, the associations have withdrawn their application to have Code Monitoring Australia (CMA) approved as a nation-wide monitoring and enforcement scheme for financial advisers.

The associations' official statement said: "Given the work that has been undertaken and costs incurred in good faith, we are disappointed that Code Monitoring Australia won’t proceed. We offered an effective disciplinary model which met ASIC’s requirements and was ready to go on 1 January 2020.

“Today’s announcement by the Government makes it unreasonable for us to proceed with CMA. We need to avoid adding complexity, further duplication and cost to the regulation of financial advice.

“We are committed to ensuring that appropriate disciplinary procedures and consumer protections are in place, but are disappointed that the announcement is so late in the development process.

“We remain committed to working with the Government to ensure the enforcement of the FASEA Code of Ethics, which protects consumers and promotes high standards among financial advisers.”

About Code Monitoring Australia and the FASEA Code
CMA was established with the joint support of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), the Boutique Financial Planners (BFP), the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), the Self-Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association), and the Stockbrokers And Financial Advisers Association of Australia (SAFAA). The Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 (Cth) established education, training, and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers in Australia. The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has been mandated by the Australian Federal Government to implement these standards including annual continuous professional development and mandatory Code of Ethics requirements.

https://www.fasea.gov.au/

https://www.fasea.gov.au/code-of-ethics/

https://asic.gov.au/

ends

  • Created on .

THE LIFE insurance industry recognises that to become a sector the community trusts, the industry must commit to supporting the professionalism of its people. That is the position of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance & Finance (ANZIIF).

The ANZIIFand the Life Insurance Professional Standards Working Group (LIPSWG), whose membership is comprised of AIA Australia, AMP Life, BT Life Insurance, ClearView, MLC Life Insurance, TAL Life Limited and Zurich, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together for the benefit of the industry to:

  • establish the Professional Standards Framework;
  • undertake a demographic survey; and
  • develop an approach to assess current knowledge defined within the agreed framework.

In a statement, the ANZIIF said the collaboration and dialogue between key insurance leaders would "significantly contribute to the professional standards across the life industry".

The findings from the Hayne Royal Commission and PJC report revealed the need to place emphasis and investment into building the professional skills of people in life insurance.

ANZIIF has consulted broadly across the retail life industry, reinsurers, regulatory authorities and associations to ensure broad based support for this collaborative project. The Australasian Life Underwriting and Claims Association (ALUCA) has also been engaged and is contributing to the project. 

The LIPSWG members believe this program will improve the professionalism of the life insurance industry; build and improve community confidence in life insurance; create a significantly better experience for customers. The project has the added benefit of creating cultural change and driving strategy to attract and retain career employees. 

AMP Life CEO and ANZIIF board president, Megan Beer said, "Becoming more trustworthy requires us to demonstrate competence.  Our commitment to lifting professionalism in our industry starts with key roles that deliver value to our customers. Defining what it means to be an insurance professional is fundamental to the future of our industry and working collaboratively is the way we will achieve meaningful change."

AIA CEO Damien Mu said, "The establishment of Life Industry Professional Standards will ensure that life insurance professionals have a high level of well-rounded knowledge, with a focus on good customer outcomes which we believe will increase consumer confidence."

ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford shared her enthusiasm of this announcement.

"Over the last two years, we have established a framework to drive this major collaboration in the life industry around professional standards," Ms Willsford said. "I’m proud to collaborate with the seven companies who represent 95 percent of the gross written premium in the life industry in this significant project."

ANZIIF will be conducting two major studies. First, a demographic survey across the entire industry to understand what level of background and skills people bring to the industry. The second will be to develop a knowledge based assessment within the agreed framework.

"We will lead the collaborative project to establish a Professional Standards Framework which will determine the different job families, and the competencies required to fulfil job roles at every level of experience," Ms Willsford said. "The significant undertaking will assist Life CEO’s and leaders to create a comprehensive roadmap to understand the investment required to build professional skills within their business."

ends

  • Created on .

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will scrutinise the superannuation sector over two days of hearings in Canberra on November 21 and 22, 2019, as part of its ongoing review of the four major banks and other financial institutions.

The chair of the committee, Tim Wilson MP, said, "These hearings are an important part of the committee’s scrutiny of the financial sector.

"As the superannuation system is a significant mechanism enabling Australians to support themselves in retirement, it is crucial that the superannuation sector is operating effectively, fairly and to the benefit of fund members," Mr Wilson said.

The committee’s examination of the groups will include monitoring the sector’s progress on implementing relevant recommendations from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Public hearing details

Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019
Time: 9.15am to 5pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra

9.15am – AustralianSuper
10.45am – Break
11am – IOOF
12.30pm – Break
1.30pm – Suncorp
2.15pm – Q Super
3pm – Nulis Nominees Australia
4pm – REST and Host-Plus
5pm – Adjournment

Date: Friday, 22 November 2019
Time: 9.15am to 3.30pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra

9.15am – Industry Super Australia
10.30am – Break
10.45am – IFM Investors 
12pm – Break
1pm – Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
2pm – AMP Super (AMP Group)
3.30pm – Adjournment

The hearings will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

ends

  • Created on .

Contact Us

 

PO Box 2144
MANSFIELD QLD 4122