Australians are better off under enterprise agreements

10 August 2019

New Business Council of Australia research shows Australian workers are better off under enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) and that to lift productivity and wages growth for all Australians we need to unscramble the complexity of the process. 

“The enterprise bargaining system has served Australians well. We need to ensure it continues to do so,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“Enterprise bargaining agreements have become Downton Abbey-sized laundry lists, containing way too many items. This bogs down negotiations, and agreements are taking too long to conclude. We can’t allow the EBA system to die the death of a thousand cuts.

“We need to create the right environment for employers to grow their operations, with investment and innovations that drive productivity improvements.

“The Better Off Overall Test, was originally intended to mean that your workforce was overall better off than the award, is a productivity killer.

“In 2016, the Fair Work Commission decided the test effectively meant all workers had to be better off than the award. The problem with the way the BOOT is operating now is that it prevents trade-offs.

“It’s a tough, competitive world and it’s in everyone’s interests that workers and their employers can come together to adjust quickly to changing circumstances such as new competition or technological change.

“Employers need the ability to adjust and change their operations quickly, and ensure the benefits of improved productivity are passed through to workers with higher wages and better conditions.”

Read the full report here.


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