Push to see redundancy pay cap for coal miners

REDUNDANCY pay for coal miners could be capped at nine years if a move put to the Fair Work Commission is successful.

The Black Coal Mining Industry Award - the minimum terms and conditions of employment - is reviewed by the Commission every four years, and stakeholders may table submissions of proposed changes.

As part of the submissions process, the Coal Mining Industry Employers Group, which represents mining companies including Anglo American, BHP Coal (BMA), Glencore, Peabody and Vale put forward a request on July 8 last year to cap redundancy benefits at nine years. The award currently has no cap, and it is believed most miners accumulate three weeks per year of service in redundancy pay.

The cap would apply to both severance pay and retrenchment pay. It also said it would still see the award "continue to be one of the most generous schemes in any modern award".

However, as part of a submission tabled on Friday by ASPERA, Collieries Staff and Officials Association director Catherine Bolger aimed to fight the idea.

She said slashing the pay would provide a raft of uncertainty for people who had worked in coal mines for far more than nine years.

The group attended the Moranbah Markets on Saturday to advise the community of the proposal.

Submissions from a range of stakeholders have been tabled since May 9, 2014.

Commission hearings following the submissions will begin on November 7.


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