Unions and employers fail to reach agreement on “demanding professions”

The employers and the trades unions have failed to reach agreement on which private sector jobs will be included in a list of so called “demanding professions”. When the retirement age was raised to 66 (from 2025) and 67 (from 2030) it was agreed that those in jobs that are either physically demanding or put a strain on those doing them due for example to irregular shift patens would be classed as being in “demanding professions” and would be allowed to retire earlier. 

In the first instance this necessitated the drafting of a list of criteria to define “demanding professions”. Using these criteria the social partners were then charged with the task of drawing up a list of such professions in both the private and the public sector.  

However, the private sector employers and the unions have failed to reach agreement on this. Their failure to reach has been passed on to the Federal Government.

The government had set four criteria to define who was in a “demanding profession” and as such would be able to retire early. These are physical demanding work, irregular hours, dangerous work and stress.   

Based on these, the Government asked the unions and the employers to draw up a list of “demanding professions”, something they have failed to do.

The employers are only prepared to discuss attributing “demanding profession” status in a limited number of cases such as those that do night work. They fear that  otherwise too many people will be able to retire early.  

However, the unions say that this would mean that too few people would be entitled to “demanding profession” status.

It is now up to the Federal Government to try and find a compromise that both parties can live with.