ACCI sets benchmarks for new IR system

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ACCI sets benchmarks for new IR system

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has outlined the measures by which employers will assess the Labor Government’s new IR system.

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The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has outlined the measures by which employers will assess the Labor Government’s new IR system.

Legislation for the Fair Work Australia system is expected to be tabled next month.

ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson told the Industrial Relations Society of South Australia last Friday that there were five criteria against which the new system will be assessed, both initially and during its implementation.

These are that the system:

  • generates productivity and employment

  • provides IR stability and certainty

  • works under diverse economic and business conditions

  • works in diverse employment and union contexts

  • respects employer body/union representation.

‘In the same way the union movement expects the government to deliver on the industrial relations promises it secured, so does business,’ Anderson said.

Assurance to business

ACCI also outlined ten areas where the government had given assurance to business over the past 12 months:

  1. The system would drive new productivity bargaining.

  2. Laws would take a tough stand against unlawful strikes.

  3. There would be an obligation to bargain, but no obligation to reach agreements above the safety net.

  4. Only majority votes of employees would trigger or compel bargaining.

  5. There would be no general arbitration above the safety net.

  6. The safety net would be stronger but still limited to 20 matters.

  7. Abolishing AWAs would not prevent 'beneficial' employer/employee flexibility agreements.

  8. Existing right of entry laws would continue.

  9. Bargaining would be enterprise bargaining, not pattern or industry-wide.

  10. Small business would not pay 'go-away' money in unfair dismissal cases.

‘Outlining these five principles and the ten undertakings are important markers for the business community to set, in advance of the parliamentary debate about the new laws and while the government is still finalising its plans,’ Anderson said.


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