A positive first step towards repairing our industrial relations system

“Parliament should be congratulated for taking an important first step towards repairing our industrial relations system,” Scott Barklamb, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Workplace Relations Director, said today, in response to the passage of the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill last night.

Mr Barklamb welcomed the positive changes the legislation would bring to enterprise bargaining and awards:

  • Empowering the independent umpire, the Fair Work Commission, to help pass agreements rather than being forced to be impractically inflexible:

    “Australia cannot afford to make enterprise bargaining difficult and unreliable, and last night’s changes should break down one significant barrier to agreement making,” MrBarklamb said.

  • Relief from a decade of continuously reviewing and remaking awards:

    “Since 2009, awards have been made, remade and reviewed three times – imposing a massive drain on unions and employer representatives. The changes will collectively save unions and employer representatives around $87m over 10 years,” Mr Barklamb said.

    “Last night’s amendments will free up the Commission, employers, and unions to complete the current 4-yearly review and then give our award system a much-needed chance to stabilise.

“The problems tackled in last night’s amendments are genuine and have been plaguing our industrial relations system for some time, hurting both working Australians and small business people.

“They represent the real industrial relations challenges that Australia must address.”

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