Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Mike Richards GLA091118OPEN

O'Dowd hits back at 'Labor lies' on casualisation

MEMBER for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has defended the Federal Government's plan to tackle workplace casualisation, after he was challenged to a public debate on the issue.

Labor's candidate for Flynn Zac Beers challenged Mr O'Dowd to a public debate, following the Federal Government's announcement this week of a shake-up to casualisation laws.

The government will legislate to give casual employees who have worked for a year or more the right to formally request to move to full-time or part-time work.

A Fair Work Commission decision late last year gave the right to 1.5 million casual employees.

The new laws would extend that right to the remaining 500,000 casual workers, many of whom work in the mining, retail and hospitality sector.

Asked if he would participate in the debate, Mr O'Dowd said he was "not interested in listening to more Labor lies".

Mr O'Dowd said the changes were expected to be introduced in early 2019.

"These changes formalise that request (for full-time work) and ensure that employers can only refuse a request on reasonable grounds," Mr O'Dowd said. But Mr Beers said the plan to allow workers to "beg" for a permanent job would not address the issue.

He said the "lived experience" was if workers asked for a full-time role the employer would keep them on as a casual or they would be told to "walk out the door".