McCallum on panel for review of Fair Work Act

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McCallum on panel for review of Fair Work Act

The Federal Government has announced the terms of reference for a review of the Fair Work Act, to be conducted by Reserve Bank board member John Edwards, former Federal Court judge Michael Moore and Sydney University Emeritus Law Professor Ron McCallum.

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The Federal Government has announced the terms of reference for a review of the Fair Work Act 2009, to be conducted by Reserve Bank board member John Edwards, former Federal Court judge Michael Moore and Sydney University Emeritus Law Professor Ron McCallum.

In announcing the terms of reference, IR Minister Bill Shorten said the government believes the Fair Work Act is working well, ‘but there is always room for improvement’.

‘I am very pleased these three eminent Australians have agreed to lead the review,’ he said.
 
‘They are all highly respected and will bring the level of independence and objectivity required for a review of this nature.’

Terms of reference
 
The panel, which will be required to report by 31 May next year, will examine and report on the extent to which the Fair Work legislation is operating as intended including:
  • the creation of a clear and stable framework of rights and obligations that is
    simple and straightforward to understand
  • the emphasis on enterprise-level collective bargaining underpinned by simple good
    faith bargaining obligations and related powers of Fair Work Australia
  • the promotion of fairness and representation at work
  • effective procedures to resolve grievances and disputes
  • genuine unfair dismissal protection
  • the creation of a new institutional framework and a single and accessible
    compliance regime
  • any differential impacts across regions, industries occupations and groups of
    workers including (but not limited to) women, young workers and people from
    non-English speaking backgrounds
  • areas where the evidence indicates that the operation of the Fair Work legislation could be improved consistent with the objects of the legislation.
The review will not report on those matters to be addressed in a separate review of modern awards by Fair Work Australia.

Evidence

Key evidence gathering activities to be undertaken in the conduct of the review include:
  • the release of a background paper on the Fair Work legislation inviting stakeholders to make a submission to the review
  • meetings with key stakeholders/roundtable discussions to outline their experiences with the Fair Work legislation
  • the commissioning of any additional quantitative and qualitative data that may be required.
Data
 
Additionally, a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data will be drawn upon to measure the regulatory impact of the legislation, including from:
  • the DEEWR’s workplace agreements database
  • the Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Fair Work Australia
  • the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • evidence sources developed by stakeholders
  • other relevant statistical sources.
The review will culminate in a comprehensive evidence based report, which will draw conclusions about whether the legislation is meeting its objectives. The report will also include recommendations for any changes arising out of the review.
 
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