The rights we enjoy at work today have been won for us by workers and their unions:
- Annual leave won in 1906, 10 days in the 1970s, then increased to 4 weeks
- Sick leave began in the 1920s, enshrined in the 1970s to 10 days
- Penalty rates established in 1947 for work done outside ‘ordinary hours’
- Maternity Leave Act in 1973
- Working week defined as 44 hrs in 1927, 40 hrs in 1947 and 38 hrs in 1983
- Paid parental leave in 2011
- Dad and partner leave in 2013
- Superannuation national laws in 1983 associated with the wages accord, where pay rises were forfeited to establish national superannuation at 3%, and from 1992 this rate was increased slowly to 9.5% by 2014 with plans to raise the rate to 12% by 2025 using 0.5% annual increases starting in July 2021.
- Long service leave - Public servants received it in the 1860s but by the 1950s all employees had access to LSL, confirmed in the 1970s by acts of parliament.
- Redundancy pay
- Many more rights and entitlements
It’s hard to imagine working without all those, the way people did before they banded together and fought so we could all have a better working life.
HACSU can assist in many ways – we help resolve workplace issues, we’re members' voice, we make sure employers meet their obligations and we can investigate suspected breaches of discrimination laws and workplace safety laws.