Leaked Fair Work Act Review — no major changes recommended

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Leaked Fair Work Act Review — no major changes recommended

Ahead of official release today of the Fair Work Act Review, key parties have commented that little change to the legislation is apparently recommended.

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Ahead of official release today of the Fair Work Act Review, key parties have commented that little change to the legislation is apparently recommended.

Note: The Review was not publicly available at the time of writing this article.

Media speculation refers to a number of technical changes that would impact on dispute settlement and agreement making — extending to greenfields agreements.

The critical element is the Federal Government’s response and this is expected in about a month. The government has previously ruled out major changes to the legislation.

ACTU
 
The ACTU has said that it’s time for business to stop blaming workplace laws for their failure to lift productivity. ACTU president Ged Kearney noted:
‘… unions would vigorously defend any push by employers to return to reintroduce key parts of WorkChoices, which were so overwhelmingly rejected by Australian voters in 2007.’
She said the release of the review should draw a line under the spurious arguments used by the business lobby that reducing rights at work would lift Australia’s productivity growth.

‘At the very start of this review process, unions set out a positive agenda for workplace laws to increase rights for Australian workers,’ Kearney said.

Kearney said any reasonable objective review would conclude that the Fair Work Act was achieving its objective of delivering fairness in the workplace and economic growth.

‘It is lazy opportunism to blame the three-year old Fair Work Act for Australia’s decade-plus slowdown in productivity growth,’ she said.

Australian Industry Group
 
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said that it is vital the government move quickly to amend the legislation to promote growth. Adding that the full potential of other drivers of productivity depend upon flexible workplaces and good workplace relations.

When the Fair Work Act was implemented, union rights were expanded said Ai Group. The introduction of the Act has led to increased union activity generally and increased disputation in the Ai Group’s view.
 
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