The review of T…

August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

The review of The Fair Work Act has brought forth predictable comments from the employer sector about productivity gains. Workers have but their labour to sell. Rates set in Fair Work have never pretended to keep pace with the cost of living. Employers can increase their pricing whenever they like. In Fact, employer lobbyists seeking productivity gains are asking for a further something for nothing. Not only should they not get it, but there needs to have a sustainable incomes indexation in place based on postcodes which sets a minimum sustainable income per postcode… 

Push to lift industrial umpire’s power

August 3, 2012

Clay Lucas and Michelle Grattan

The review of the Fair Work Act was hit by a barrage of criticism from employer groups.

The review of the Fair Work Act was hit by a barrage of criticism from employer groups. Photo: Angela Wylie

A REVIEW of the nation’s workplace laws recommends giving the industrial umpire more power to intervene in big construction projects that stall before they even get off the ground.

And the government-commissioned review pushes for more flexibility for carers, finding that employers should be legally required to meet with workers with children, or those who care for the aged or disabled, to consider requests.

But the review of the Fair Work Act, released by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten yesterday, was hit by a barrage of criticism from employer groups, who said the changes fell short of what was needed.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also said Australia has ”serious workplace relations issues”, but insisted the reforms he would make would be careful and cautious. Mr Abbott is under pressure from business to promise tough reforms – and from the government to release an industrial relations policy soon.


Mr Shorten challenged Mr Abbott to release his policy. ”Generalities around words like ‘cautious’ and ‘careful’ cannot mask forever the lack of detail.”

Mr Abbott said the present system had a flexibility problem, a militancy problem and ”above all else” a productivity problem.

Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said the report was ”a major let-down” and the panel stacked.

However, a leading industrial relations academic, Adelaide University’s Andrew Stewart, said that if a scorecard was drawn up on the review, employers had fared far better than unions.

”Publicly, no one is going to be happy,” Professor Stewart said. ”But in terms of a scorecard, employer groups … privately will feel they have had quite a few wins.”…..

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