The Australian Federal Government continues to implement significant and disruptive changes to the country's workplace relations landscape. The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022, the first set of reforms, was hastily passed through Parliament last year without genuine consultation. Our stance remains unchanged: these reforms introduce increased costs and complexities to running businesses in Australia, posing risks to investment, jobs, and wages.
The second set of reforms, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023, is currently under consideration in Federal Parliament and is mostly non-controversial.
The government is currently engaging in consultations regarding certain aspects of its third set of reforms. We urge you to voice your opinions so that we can advocate for your business effectively.
These upcoming reforms carry the potential for far-reaching and unintended consequences, particularly if they encompass contracting arrangements within the powers of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Rest assured, we are committed to keeping you informed and helping you prepare for these changes. Additionally, we are steadfast in our commitment to advocating strongly on your behalf, ensuring that your concerns and interests are effectively represented.
Chamber NT, along with other employer groups from across Australia, expressed concerns about the proposed industrial relations (IR) changes in the initial set of reforms.
We held significant reservations about various aspects of this legislation and recommended that it be divided into separate parts to allow for more extensive stakeholder engagement.
Collectively we argued the following points:
- Changes to the single-interest stream of multi-employer bargaining were unjustified based on wage growth and posed a threat to small businesses.
- Compulsory arbitration would only lead to delays in reaching agreements between parties.
- Other concerns included the ability to reopen enterprise agreements during their term and the restriction placed on community services providers from utilising fixed-term contracts when necessary.