First Steps to Make the Fair Work Act Future-Oriented

“The sensible amendments agreed to by the government and Senate crossbenchers are the first steps to create a workplace relations system that drives collaboration, innovation, and ultimately productivity,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“We congratulate the government and crossbenchers on agreeing to remove unfair and unproductive restrictions on enterprises trying to start major projects, by passing changes to reduce unnecessary costs and delays to greenfields agreements,” Ms Westacott said.

“The passage of this Bill acknowledges the workplace relations system of today is not fit for the modern economy or modern workplaces, but it is only the first step on a journey we must take to create a workplace relations system that is fit for the future.

“This is not about an attack on workers, it’s about generating the momentum needed for job creation and productivity in a more competitive world.

“The Business Council is disappointed that other changes such as restoring previous arrangements on a union’s right of entry, allowing voluntary transfers between entities, and clarification on payment of annual leave loading, were not supported by the Senate. These were sensible and practical changes that would have improved the system without reducing the safety net for workers.

“Our workplace relations system is essential to Australia’s competitiveness and productivity. The current inquiry by the Productivity Commission’s is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reorient our workplace relations system for the future.

“It is an opportunity for Australia to build on successful reforms from the past, and create a workplace relations system that builds in a strong safety net for workers, while offering sufficient flexibility for enterprises and people to innovate.

“It is time for the workplace relations debate to move beyond ideology and recognise that workers and enterprises have a common purpose of success. We need to build our future system around this common purpose,” Ms Westacott said.

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