Unions NSW today called on the Howard Government to establish a ‘right to worship’ protection in its so-called Fairness Test covering Australian Workplace Agreements.
The call follows revelations a member of the Hillsong congregation was refused the option of taking Sundays off to worship when negotiating an AWA with a call centre.
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson said the worker involved attempted to negotiate flexibilities based on his religious convictions when negotiating the AWA, but was told being available for work seven days per week were not negotiable.
"This is another example of where the Howard Government IR laws put the interests of employers ahead of those of workers, " Mr Robertson said.
"As we have warned in the past, workers are losing control of traditional family time such as the time to worship, be it Sunday or other significant days.
"We are calling on the Prime Minister to extend his so-called ‘fairness test’ to include a right for workers to stipulate a day of worship where they can not be forced to attend work."
Unions NSW will meet with major faith organizations over the coming weeks to build support across the faith community for "Right to Worship’ protections.
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