No new employer reps on FWC ‘disrespectful’: ACCI

News

No new employer reps on FWC ‘disrespectful’: ACCI

The failure to appoint one new Fair Work Commissioner from business among the eight new members is ‘disrespectful’ and ‘flawed’, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has declared.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The failure to appoint one new Fair Work Commissioner from business among the eight new members is ‘disrespectful’ and ‘flawed’, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has declared.
 
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten announced the new appointments in a statement released late on Thursday before the Easter break.

As expected, former ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence has been appointed a deputy president.

‘Going quietly’

Lawrence’s elevation to the Commission is seen as a reward for ‘going quietly’ when replaced at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) by former Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) national secretary Dave Oliver.

The new appointments to the FW Commission are:
  • Vice presidents Joe Catanzariti and Adam Hatcher SC
  • Deputy presidents Ingrid Asbury, Anne Gooley, Val Gostencnik and Jeff Lawrence
  • Commissioners Nick Wilson and Leigh Johns.
Senior workplace lawyers Catanzariti and Harcher come in over the heads of existing vice presidents Michael Lawler and Graeme Watson.

Wilson is currently Fair Work Ombudsman and Johns has been chief executive of the Work Building & Construction since its inception in June 2012 and was previously the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner.

Asbury and Gooley are existing FW commissioners and Gostencnik is a workplace relations lawyer.

Disappointing

ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said it is disappointing that the government has overlooked representatives from industry and employers.

‘That the government could not appoint one person of the eight from an active current role in industry or from amongst employer bodies is disrespectful to the private sector,’ he said.

‘The vice presidency appointments, the most important, are the product of a flawed process in which the government effectively demoted office-holders two and three in the tribunal hierarchy and now appoints new lawyers over and above their heads.’

Unprincipled

‘That unprincipled approach undermines the standing of the Commission and industry confidence in it.’

‘In making these criticisms of the flawed process and the collective imbalance of appointments, ACCI makes no comment on the eight individuals who now achieve or are promoted to high office and who should be congratulated for having done so.’

Dave Oliver said Lawrence would bring long experience, wide knowledge and an understanding of working people to his role.
 
Post details