A step closer to new jobs and higher wages

Australians are one step away from having a modern workplace relations system that will deliver more jobs and higher wages, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The Senate now has the opportunity to pass practical and workable changes that go to the heart of fixing problems in the workplace relations system following the passage of reforms in the House of Representatives last night.

“This is a chance to support a package of changes which will create jobs, make it easier to grow the economy and recover.

“Crucially, these changes will stop the decline of enterprise bargaining and put Australians in a position to earn more again.

“Importantly, they reduce the complexity of the Better Off Overall Test which has pushed the Hawke and Keating designed enterprise bargaining system to the brink of collapse.

“Workers on enterprise agreements earn more than those on awards – on average they are $100 better off at the end of every full day of work. But the number of new enterprise agreements has fallen 63 per cent since 2008.

“Everyone knows the current system doesn’t work for modern workers and it doesn’t work for modern businesses.

“Just as Hawke and Keating envisaged, employers, unions and workers must be able to sit down and work together to give Australians the opportunities they want for themselves and their families.

“By failing to make these important changes to the system, the Senate would risk condemning Australia to the slow lane and missing out on opportunities.

“The stakes are too high to miss out on this chance for reform. Australia needs a workplace relations system that encourages new investment and jobs to fuel our economic recovery.”