With the September 2013 change in Federal Government from the ALP to the NLP it is opportune to review the NLP’s position on workplace relations.
Key points of the NLP’s Policy to improve the Fair Work Laws include:
- Keep and improve the Fair Work laws – its generally working and they’ll do some tweaking to improve.
- Re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission – welcome news for employers in this sector.
- Provide better protection for members of Registered Organisations – to quote, they will get rid of the “rip-offs, rorts and corruption that has flourished in some unions”.
- Provide practical help to small business workplaces – nothing specific other than a “number of initiatives” to be provided.
- Guarantee workers have the right to access fair flexibility – remove the restriction of using Individual Flexibility Agreements in Enterprise Agreements, maintaining the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT).
- Create realistic timeframes for Greenfield agreements – remove unions veto right.
- Ensure union right of entry provisions are sensible and fair – rein it back.
- Give underpaid workers a better deal – employees will receive interest on back-pay.
- Promote harmonious, sensible and productive enterprise bargaining – changes to limit protected industrial action around bargaining.
- Ensure the laws work for everyone and undertake an independent review by the respected Productivity Commission.
- Deliver a genuine paid parental leave scheme and lift female participation rates in Australian workplaces - including a Paid Parental Leave Scheme to give mothers six months leave based on their actual wage.
- Ensure workplace bullying is comprehensively addressed - supports Fair Work coverage but with some amendments.
- Urgently review the Remuneration Tribunal for the trucking industry.
- Implement many recommendations from the Fair Work Review Panel report.
What is disappointing for employers, especially small business is that there will be no significant changes to the key areas of workplace relations legislation that stifle business productivity, such as:
- Unfair dismissal
- Adverse action/general protection
- Individual flexibility agreements