Federal

Mar 30, 2012

Shorten, music appreciator, flags long service for artists

Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten is raising the issue of long-service leave for artists and musicians. But who will fund it, ask Ben Eltham and Rebecca Harkins-Cross?

Bill Shorten is running an idea up the flagpole: long-service leave for artists and musicians.

“I’m going to ask the House of Representatives to investigate the remuneration of performing artists with practical reference to long-service leave,” the Labor minister told Crikey, confirming his intention to introduce a brief to a parliamentary committee. “It’s been brought to my attention by people like [composer] Paul Grabowsky. It’s very unusual for a performing artist or musician to work in one place for 15 years.”

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4 comments

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4 thoughts on “Shorten, music appreciator, flags long service for artists

  1. JamesH

    What about everyone in the permanently-casual-cycle who isn’t a musician or aretist?

  2. Gavin Moodie

    I agree that if this works it would be a good precedent for long service leave to accrue to an employee rather than with a particular employer, which in turn would be a precedent for the accrual of other rights such as sick leave.

    That would be an excellent development in my view. While it would benefit employees mostly, it would benefit employers by making casual employment less exploitative and thus more acceptable. This would make it easier for employers to expand casual employment, increasing the advantages they get from casual employment overall while perhaps reducing slightly the surplus they can extract from each individual casual employee.

  3. Peter Knight

    It looks like those who work for major organisations, who already enjoy the best working conditions (in terms of remuneration) of any artists would get even more. Symphony Orchestras and Opera Australia already soak up more than half of all the money spent on the arts – that is across all artforms – and this would mean even more money would be directed to these organisations.

    Quote from the article…
    ‘He stressed such a scheme would not apply to freelance artists working as sole traders or businesses: “And it may be that many performing artists are small businesses, in which case it would not apply to them.”’

  4. FelineCyclist

    I think this a great first step to entitlements becoming portable for all employees. Starting with a highly casualised/short term industry like the arts industry is a great way of demonstrating that, for some employees, guarantees in the Fair Work Act for entitlements are theoretical only. Currently, businesses are making money out of the choices of their employees – I don’t get rewarded for staying healthy and not taking sick leave – my employer does.

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