Employers who demand a doctor's note when workers take sick days will be pressured to wear the cost of the proposed $7 GP co-payment, under a new national union strategy.
In coming enterprise bargaining rounds, unions will seek to shift the cost of several controversial federal budget measures from workers to employers.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions, at a meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday, endorsed new enterprise bargaining guidelines for unions outlining industrial claims they can make on behalf of workers.
The guidelines seek to rewrite workplace agreements so employers would be required to compensate workers $7 for doctor visits, and 78c per kilometre for workers who use their own vehicles due to the fuel excise increase.
Clauses also demand a "working parents allowance" of $13.75 a week and extra superannuation to compensate for potential freezes to the childcare rebate and the superannuation guarantee.
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said unions would help to "shield" workers from the "cruel and unfair" budget.
"More than 4 million Australian workers are covered by enterprise bargaining agreements and unions will be fighting to get clauses into all new agreements to help workers cope with the harsher budget measures," he said.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz condemned the ACTU's push, saying it would "come at a huge cost to jobs".
"Every dollar that an employer has to spend on union boss demands is a dollar that they cannot spend on employing people," he said.
"The union bosses at every turn seem focused on destroying job opportunities for Australians instead of working with the government to create jobs by building a strong and more prosperous economy."
Senator Abetz said the federal budget was "tough" but "fair", with a focus on building a strong economy that promoted job creation.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - the nation's biggest business lobby - lashed the union's industrial claims as "political grandstanding" that would only block more job-seekers out of employment.
"Simply pushing these additional costs onto business is not going to help balance the budget and nor will it help those looking for work in industries that are doing it tough," the group's workplace relations director, Richard Clancy, said.
"ACCI wants a strong economy that encourages businesses to invest and take on new employees and makes it possible to pay those in work more."
All of the budget measures highlighted in the ACTU's new enterprise bargaining toolkit, except for the childcare rebate freeze, appear unlikely to pass a hostile Senate.
"We will continue to talk to the crossbenchers about not letting these changes through ... but in the event that they do, these claims will help ensure workers do not fall further and further behind."