“We are heartened by Brendan O’Connor’s acknowledgment that the discussion around improving Australia’s workplace relations system must involve all voices,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.
“The Shadow Minister is right that all parties must come together to consider how our workplace laws can deliver better outcomes in a rapidly changing labour market.
“We need to see the return to a dynamic enterprise bargaining system which is underpinned by collaboration between unions, business and workers.
“We share Labor’s objective of creating a modern workplace relations system that is capable of responding to the rapidly changing labour market.
“Any effective reform process will need to be collaborative and the business community stands ready to participate in this process.
“Business would strongly resist any moves to return to the adversarial, strike-ridden and divisive ways of the past that have been roundly rejected by the majority of employers and workers.
“We agree that workers all need to be a part of the growth story. The best way to achieve this will be with a modern workplace relations system that provides flexibility for workers and employers as well as enabling workplaces to adapt to rapid change.
“Of course, there are areas of significant disagreement in this debate – the best way forward is through collaboration and communication, rather than grandstanding and disruption.
“Just as you cannot have workers without employers, businesses need a happy and productive workforce to keep growing. A respectful, inclusive and robust conversation about reform is the best way forward.”