Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is pleased the Federal Government has acted swiftly to initiate support for the 60 dismissed Bruck Textile workers who lost their jobs last Friday.
Ms McGowan met late today to brief senior staff from the office of the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, about the situation to represent the redundant employees.
Payments made through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) safety net will be finalised when the practitioner has received the entitlement details of the ex-employees. FEG payments include annual leave, long service leave and redundancy pay at four weeks per full year of service.
Ms McGowan said the 60 affected ex-employees deserved to receive their entitlements and a spokesman for Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz said an insolvency practitioner had been brought into make the necessary assessments. The process can take up to five months and Ms McGowan has written to Minister Abetz calling for this process to be expedited.
An information session for ex-workers is being held tomorrow at the Gateway Hotel in Wangaratta from 2pm-4pm. This will involve the Department of Human Services, Rural City of Wangaratta and the State Government’s Development, Business and Innovation and training organisations. Support will be forthcoming under Job Services Australia and Centrelink.
Workers made redundant are eligible for immediate access to intensive employment support at the Stream 3 level. This is through the JSA provider under the Textile, Clothing and Structural Adjustment Program. Support includes a $2880 employment Pathway Fund credit for training courses, clothing and transport costs.
The Government informed Ms McGowan it had concerns with Bruck Textiles being liquidated. A request was made to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to investigate the matter and ASIC has accepted the complaint.
Ms McGowan has sought a meeting with Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, to discuss a plan for getting the 60 affected people back into work. A spokesman for Minister Abetz told Ms McGowan there was an opportunity for the employment and industry departments to work in unison to return the ex-employees into the workforce.