Coalition Plans for a Productivity Commission Investigation of the Fair Work Act

Comments by Business Council of Australia President Tony Shepherd on Coalition Plans for a Productivity Commission Investigation of the Fair Work Act

The Business Council of Australia welcomes the report that the Coalition would ask the Productivity Commission to investigate the Fair Work Act should it win government.

An independent investigation by a respected body such as the Productivity Commission is a transparent way to identify reforms that will support more productive workplaces.

Comprehensive consultation on the Productivity Commission’s findings is essential to build community understanding of the need for reform and to reduce the divisiveness in the current workplace relations debate.

How we work has changed dramatically in the past 20 years in response to consumer demands, new competitive forces and preferences for different ways of working.

Workplace relations laws need to be designed to reflect the changing nature of our workplaces and to make it easier for Australia to become a high-wage and high-productivity nation.

Given a Productivity Commission review and consultation would take some time, there is a need in the interim for changes to the Fair Work Act to address concerns that the current system is making it harder to hire workers and stay competitive, and is holding back investment.

The Fair Work Act should be amended now to address issues such as problems associated with greenfield site agreements, protected action, rights of entry by union officials, and flexibility agreements so as to improve Australia’s competitiveness and economic growth.

What we don’t need is increased workplace relations regulations that make it harder for businesses to hire workers, to stay competitive and to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128