AiG: FWA Flawed, IR Reform A Priority

The Australian Industry Group, which previously was supportive of the Federal Government’s Fair Work Australia legislation, has admitted that the Fair Work Australia regime is flawed, and argued that reforms must not be put in the “Too Hard Basket” before the Federal Election.

Innes Wilcox, CEO of AiG, writing in the Australian today argued that:

The Fair Work Act Review Panel made some useful recommendations, but disappointingly these recommendations were inadequate to address the above problems. Even more disappointingly, the federal government has failed to implement the panel’s recommendations in the areas of most importance to business.

An extremely lopsided approach has been taken in implementing the panel’s recommendations. The changes that have been acted upon so far have largely been directed at increasing the power and entitlements of unions and employees, at the expense of employers. This needs to be addressed in the next term of government by whichever party wins the federal election.

The next federal government needs to step in and protect the national interest through a series of sensible changes to the Fair Work Act.

As Ai Group’s survey has shown, businesses want and need these changes if they are to continue to operate productively and flexibly, and continue to provide well-paid and interesting jobs to employees.”

The HR Nicholls Society has consistently argued that our industrial relations legislation is deeply flawed, significantly hindering productivity, economic growth, and employment opportunities. While Ai Groups concerns still do not go anywhere near as far as they should, and do not address the core fundamental issues (as discussed in our recent conference: “Unions in Control“), admitting the legislation they once supported is flawed is certainly a step in the right direction.

Tim Andrews is Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, and a member of the HR Nicholls Society Board of Management. 

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