Bans on contractors must end: employers

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Bans on contractors must end: employers

Enterprise agreement clauses that restrict the engagement of contractors and labour hire should be outlawed, a major employer organisation has declared.

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Enterprise agreement clauses that restrict the engagement of contractors and labour hire should be outlawed, a major employer organisation has declared.

With the Federal Government expected to soon release the findings and recommendations of the Fair Work Act Review, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has listed the changes it says are essential.
 
Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said it is extremely important that improvements are made to the Act to achieve greater flexibility and boost productivity, particularly for businesses on the wrong side of the resources boom.

Willox said the priority amendments for industry include:
  • The content which can be included in enterprise agreements needs to be more tightly defined. For example, clauses which restrict the engagement of contractors and labour hire should be outlawed.
  • Key problems with the good faith bargaining system need to be addressed. Secret ballots should be required to determine majority support for collective bargaining, scope orders should be abolished and Fair Work Australia's powers to issue bargaining orders should be more tightly defined.
  • Unions currently have too much power to refuse to enter into greenfields agreements for new projects unless all their demands are met. Greenfields agreements should be allowed between an employer and any union eligible to represent employees on the project and employer greenfields agreements should also be reintroduced.
  • A more effective framework is needed for Individual Flexibility Arrangements so that individual employees have access to flexible work arrangements that suit their needs, by agreement with their employer.
  • The current transfer of business laws are unworkable and need to be redesigned.
  • The General Protections in the Act are poorly drafted and are operating unfairly for employers.
‘Of considerable concern are the numerous expanded rights the unions were granted under the Fair Work Act,’ Willox said.

120 new union rights
 
‘In fact, when the Act was introduced over 120 new rights were given to unions in a range of areas. Such powers need to be redressed and more balanced laws implemented.’

‘It is vital that the Government recognises the flaws in the Fair Work Act and swiftly introduces amendments that will help strengthen our economy and implement a more productive, flexible and balanced workplace relations system.’
 
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