The future of the government’s review of workplace bargaining powers remains in limbo, with the prime minister dodging questions about whether he would further amend or split the bill.
Labor is pushing for complex multi-employer contracts to be approved before Christmas, saying it wants the laws in place as soon as possible to put upward pressure on wages.
But key Senate figures, David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie, want parts of the proposed laws postponed until next year so they have enough time to consult with the business community.
Mr Albanese personally met with Senator Pocock on Thursday.
Non-controversial aspects of the bill with multiparty support include measures to address gender inequality in the workplace.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would not be interested in whether splitting legislation was on the table during the last session week of the year.
“We are committed to ensuring that our labor relations legislation is passed,” he said.
The opposition has attacked the negotiations with several employers as too costly for small businesses.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the government is “arrogantly holding charities hostage” by being unwilling to split the bill.
“I’m fed up with Anthony Albanese continuing to harass the Australian people and small businesses, unless you support the radical bill, you don’t support wage increases,” she said.
Ms Ley said the inference that she didn’t support women getting ahead in their jobs was “downright insulting” after she had to fight to land her dream job as a pilot “because my name is Sussan and not Sam”.
“The government must stop using women’s interests as support to cover up their radical labor relations laws,” she said.