Encouragement and help for employers with new IR regime

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Encouragement and help for employers with new IR regime

Labor’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has moved to soften relations with leading employer organisations following the ALP’s election win - but only on the basis that the new Government’s IR policy is non-negotiable.

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Labor’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has moved to soften relations with leading employer organisations following the ALP’s election win - but only on the basis that the new Government’s IR policy is non-negotiable.

Meanwhile the NSW Business Chamber is hosting a special breakfast briefing series covering the Labor IR changes.


Gillard whips employers with olive branch of peace

Labor’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has moved to soften relations with leading employer organisations following the ALP’s election win - but only on the basis that the new Government’s IR policy is non-negotiable.

At a speech to the Australian Industry Group (AiG) soon after she was sworn in as the Minister of Education, Employment, Social Inclusion and Workplace Relations, Gillard said wanted to ‘take this opportunity to extend the hand of cooperation to all of the employer organizations who took part in the debate over WorkChoices’.

It was apt that Gillard should make this move at an AiG speech, since that organisation’s CEO, Heather Ridout, was the most senior employer representative to refuse to support the pro-WorkChoices advertising campaign run by other business bodies, particularly ACCI and the BCA.

‘Political impartiality’

Gillard indulged herself in a sly dig at the other employer organisations by praising AiG’s ‘political impartiality’.

‘Labor and the Australian Industry Group worked well together in opposition, to ensure that industry views were properly assessed and taken into account in shaping Labor’s policies,’ she said. ‘And I’ve got absolutely no doubt our close and professional relationship will continue as we move to implement those policies in government.

‘As Kevin Rudd has said many times over the course of this year, Labor respected everyone’s democratic right to argue their case passionately, in public and privately.

‘They did. And we thank them for it.

‘But the democratic judges have now made their decision, and it’s time for Labor to get on with the task of implementing the mandate that has been conferred upon us.’

Labor’s mandate

Gillard made it clear Labor had a mandate for:

  • Abolishing AWAs, but respecting existing contractual arrangements
  • Providing 10 National Employment Standards
  • Creating a fast and simple unfair dismissals system
  • Simplifying and modernising some 4,300 awards
  • Limiting the ability to take protected industrial action to bargaining periods, supported by a mandatory secret ballot and prohibiting industry wide strikes
  • Retaining existing right of entry arrangements
  • Creating a new independent umpire - Fair Work Australia.


Gillard said her new portfolio was an ‘awesome responsibility’, but also a terrific opportunity: ‘because it provides the chance to bring together some of the key elements of a new economic reform agenda for the nation’.


Lift productivity

‘Despite all the disagreements over workplace relations during the year, most commentators agreed that there was a need for a fresh new agenda to lift national productivity,’ she said.

‘I think over the last few years a consensus of sorts has been emerging over what that agenda needs to include. Employers, unionists, educators, economists, public policy experts and the general public alike understand that - important though it is - workplace relations is only one part of the productivity equation.

‘Lifting productivity - to enable Australia to compete internationally, raise our living standards and address huge challenges like our ageing population - is going to need a much broader approach to economic reform.’

Gillard said her new portfolio ‘can be a mouthful’ and she would be happy to be called the ‘Minister for Productivity’.

Related

Pro-WorkChoices ads cause rift for employers



Business Breakfast Briefings: The new IR landscape


The new ALP Government has a clear mandate to make significant changes to the IR system. These changes will impact on every business.

NSW Business Chamber is hosting a special breakfast briefing series covering relevant changes. Presented by Australian Business Lawyers, the briefing will inform you of:

  • the proposed workplace changes
  • proposed new laws regarding agreement making, unfair dismissals and minimum conditions
  • how you can prepare for the changes.

Tell a friend

Subscribers to WorkplaceInfo may wish to tell a friend about these briefings, which offer the following benefits to attendees:

  • a free two month trial to WorkplaceInfo
  • a free Workplace Advice Line call - a service provided by NSW Business Chamber.

If you are not a member of NSW Business Chamber and making use of our popular Workplace Advice Line, you will receive a free Base Membership subscription with one Workplace Advice Line call included - valid until 29 February 2008.


Registration

Register for these events or call 13 26 96 today.

Anyone who would like to be kept up to date with the IR changes but is unable to attend the Briefings can register online for a free trial to WorkplaceInfo.


Dates, venues, cost

Tuesday 11th December 2007
Location: Epping
The Epping Club, 45 Rawson Street, Epping

Wednesday 12th December 2007
Location: Sydney CBD
Sydney Chamber of Commerce
Level 12, 83 Clarence Street, Sydney

Time: 7.30am - 9.00am

Cost: $44.00 members of NSWBC
$55.00 associate members
$66.00 non-members
 



 

 

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