Last week’s Employment White Paper identified the Government’s vision for a labour market in which:
- everyone has the opportunity for secure, fairly-paid work
- people, businesses and communities can be beneficiaries of change and thrive.
It also sets out five objectives to contribute to delivering the government’s vision and noted that: ‘real wages growth depends on productivity growth, a dynamic and competitive labour market and effective wage setting institutions’
None of this is achievable if the government proceeds with the most radical and regressive changes to workplace relations in decades through its Fair Work Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill.
The Bill will:
- make the law less certain, and increase workplace complexity and scope for disputation
- reduce productivity, competitiveness, innovation and job security, and thereby make Australia a less desirable place to do business
- reduce take home pay and further increase the costs of living.
In short, the Bill is the wrong step at the wrong time.
The BCA urges the government to go back to the drawing board, properly define the problems it is trying to solve, clearly identify the outcomes it is working towards, and provide evidence justifying any proposals. Any proposed changes should then be subject to thorough and independent cost-benefit analysis and wide public consultation.
The BCA supports the request from the Senate cross-bench to separate a number of positive measures and bring them forward for earlier consideration.