Stopping the decline – A year of Lost Opportunity

The following is a paper presented by Theresa Moltoni to the 2014 HR Nicholls Society Annual Conference.

Stopping the decline – A year of Lost Opportunity

Introduction

Since our last conference we have continued to see further labour market reform, however it hasn’t been going in the direction that was so desperately needed, indeed it has continued to go backwards. Much of this has been due to the implementation of Bill Kelty’s espoused Plan B[1] by the former Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government. Let’s review the year that was….

In what appeared to be a desperate bid to shore up as many layers of Plan B as possible, we saw change after change pushed through Parliament with no slowing down as the last opportunities to do so arose before the election. The polls painted a clear picture that Labor were heading for opposition and in a defiant refusal to accept the will of the people, the Government reacted by pushing through changes that had no mandate whatsoever, changes that were not designed to have a positive effect on employment, productivity or the broader economy, changes that were instead designed to bolster Plan B. Unfortunately as Margaret Thatcher once said (and Australians are now finding), “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”.

The last minute amendments to the Fair Work Act included: Read more

Problems with Existing Regulation of Workplace Relations

Des Moore, former Deputy Secretary of the Federal Secretary, and member of the Society’s Board of Management, has prepared the following position paper for the Society discussing Problems with Existing Regulation of Workplace Relations. It has been emailed to all Federal Members of Parliament and Senators.

Introduction

The HR Nicholls Society takes the view that there is no substantive imbalance of bargaining power between employers and employees and the relationship does not require detailed regulation. This view is based on the fact that there are over 800,000 employing businesses which operate with a workforce of over 12 million. These businesses compete actively with each other and employers as a group cannot force wages down or impose “unfair” conditions on employees as a group. In these circumstances it is virtually impossible for employers to impose “unfair” conditions on employees on any sustained basis. Read more

The Changing Industrial Relations Landscape in Australia

The following is a presentation given to the 2013 HR Nicholls Society Annual Conference:

I’d like to take you on a brief journey as we sit as passengers on the bus the Government have put us in.  As we drive through the changing IR Landscape in Australia, peering out through the window with no control over which roads we take, which direction we head or how fast or slow we hit those bumps along the way.  This is how things have looked for businesses and practitioners over the last few years!

There have been many changes to the Australian Industrial Relations system since Kevin Rudd was elected as Prime Minister in 2007.

Firstly the Workplace Relations Act was replaced with the Fair Work Act (‘FWA’).

It took some time for a number of the changes to be tested and for their true impact to be realised.  Unfortunately for the Australian Economy, the impact on business, on jobs, and on productivity, have indeed been realised. Read more