In May 2011, Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott sent a letter to the Minister for Workplace Relations seeking amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009.
The submission reflected feedback received from BCA member companies during a series of structured sessions to monitor the impact of the Act.
Those feedback sessions sought to establish the impact of the Act on productivity, job creation, international competitiveness, administrative cost, timeliness, and resource intensity. Some 50 companies contributed their experiences.
These broader effects will be the subject of future BCA submissions.
However, a number of issues of immediate concern to members were identified that warrant legislative amendment, including:
– qualifying the scope of the general protections in Part 3-1 of the Act
– proposing that majority support determinations be justified on the basis of secret ballot
– proposing that protected action ballots only be available after majority support determinations have been made
– revising the transfer of business provisions (3)
– revising the requirements for the model clause on individual flexibility arrangements
– clarifying provisions that relate to ‘contractor clauses’.
We expressed our concern about the way in which greenfields projects are dealt with. This is an area of policy that requires more detailed consideration.
We also recommended that the increase in compulsory employer superannuation contributions be offset against minimum wage increases in the period 2013–20.
The issues raised in the submission are similar to those raised through other key employer groups.
The government has indicated that a formal review of the Act is to be conducted in 2012, after which the government may consider making amendments to the Act.