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Clock on when you board: Push for passengers to be paid for their ferry commute

Workers would be allowed to clock on when beginning their commute under a proposal being floated by a ferry service operating between Melbourne and Geelong.

Port Phillip Ferries is pushing the idea to major employers as it launches a three-year trial of twice-daily services today.

CEO of Port Phillip Ferries, Murray Rance, said the move is in line with existing the trend towards more flexible working arrangements.

“There’s been a lot of interest,” he told 3AW Breakfast.

“These days you have to be flexible to get the very best people.”

Free WiFi is provided on the Geelong to Melbourne ferry service, which runs for just over 90 minutes.

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But Peter Wilson, employment expert and Chair of the Australian Human Resources Institute, said it won’t work.

“It’s not a good idea,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Allowing workers to work on the ferry may leave employers vulnerable to a raft of occupational health and safety problems.

“If it is defined as part of the workplace then the employer has health and safety implications on the ferry,” he said.

If workers travelling by ferry are allowed to work on their commute, it’s likely those travelling by other modes of transport will want to, too.

“It’s directing a time and a conduct of work on one mode of transport versus the others,” Mr Wilson said.

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Image: Larry Hirshowitz