Media reports today that the coalition will delay any meaningful reform of the workplace relations system until after 2016 are disappointing at best.
To use the shield of a Productivity Commission review of the workplace relations system is not an excuse to shirk the immediate changes to the workplace system that should take place.
For example the coalition claims it will leave the issue of penalty rates in the hands of the FWC, but the Productivity Commission has already looked at this issue as it relates to the retail industry.
Further the evidence before the review of the Fair Work Act conducted last year shows areas of significant reform as identified by the business sector.
The fact is that the field evidence is in.
It is important to note that the coalition is taking some action on the governance of registered organisations by placing the operation of the RO Act in the hands of the Fair Work Ombudsman. However it should go further and have ROs governed by ASIC.
Also of note is that the Labor Party did not undertake any PC or economic review when it introduced its workplace relations policy. Similarly there is no reason for the opposition to do so either.
The opposition should act on the evidence that is publicly available to amend the FWA and consider future tranches of reform after the election.
Australia cannot afford to wait until possibly 2019 before undertaking significant workplace relations reform.
Further information: Ian Hanke 0407 841 957 Adam Bisits 0438 405 527