New workplace relations regime will be handbrake on investment, job opportunities and wages

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 passed by parliament today will be a handbrake on investment, job opportunities and wage growth.

The reintroduction of multi-employer bargaining into the Australian workplace relations regime will have negative consequences on investment, productivity, economic growth, job security and wages for small or larger businesses across Australia.

The Government’s amendments, which confine multi-employer agreements to ‘reasonably comparable’ businesses, carve-out civil construction, allow more time to conclude enterprise agreements, and stop parties from unreasonably preventing workplace votes, do partially address industry concerns.

However, these amendments do not change the fundamental problems the bill will create in reducing flexibility and productivity, increasing risk for investors, and making it harder for mining companies to create jobs.

There is no case for extending multi-employer bargaining, particularly for sectors such as mining, where current arrangements are delivering high paying jobs.

Mining is Australia’s largest export industry, generating a record $413 billion in exports in 2021-22. The industry paid $43.2 billion in tax and royalty payments in 2022-21 and accounted for 30 per cent of all company tax paid that year.

The MCA will continue to work hard for the mining industry and its workers, the regional communities and thousands of small businesses that support the sector.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.