The Guardian December 12, 2001


Queensland Government adopts call centre code

The Queensland Government has announced that it will adopt the Call 
Centre Code of Practice, guaranteeing minimum standards and conditions for 
call centre workers. The ACTU is now calling for remaining governments to 
follow suit.

All Queensland government agencies, government-owned corporations and 
contractors providing call centre services to the government will "be 
required to adhere to relevant provisions of the code", and those who sign 
up to the code may be blocked from tendering for work for specified periods 
if they breach it.

The code deals with issues including call monitoring, targets, 
consultation, training and skills development and health and safety 
measures.

It contains a commitment to maximise permanent employment, with casual or 
temporary alternatives to be used only where permanent employment is "not 
advisable or appropriate".

It also says union delegates "should be recognised as acting on behalf of 
union members in the workplace", and parties are required to "encourage the 
development of collective arrangements applicable to the workplace".

"State Governments spend $6 billion a year on industry subsidies and a lot 
of that is going to call centres", said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.

"Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being invested in call centres 
that care about quality service and quality jobs.

"The Victorian and NSW Governments have said they support the code in 
principle. Now that Queensland has signed, the race is on to see which 
state Labor Government will be the last to act on behalf of call centre 
workers."

The West Australian and Tasmanian Governments adopted the code earlier this 
year.

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