IR regulation is the Missing ingredient in recipe for success in the Asian Century
A statement by ACCI's Director of Workplace Policy, Daniel Mammone
The release of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper is timely following the return of a successful Australian Government led delegation to Myanmar. ACCI was represented by Steve Knott, Chief Executive of AMMA, in high level meetings to better understand both the opportunities and challenges in Myanmar for Australians seeking to do business.
Whilst the White Paper rightly highlights important policy areas to kick start policy dialogue in how we as a nation can be more competitive and continue to attract foreign investment, the White Paper fails to address the consequences of our re-regulated IR system.
There is only passing reference to workplace regulation in the White Paper and no real discourse or assessment as to how excessive labour regulation acts as an impediment to Australian business, particularly the burgeoning services industry sector, as highlighted in ACCI’s Services Industries Blueprint and our submission to the Fair Work Review. Flexible labour regulation is a critical aspect of getting policy settings correct, as it has the ability to make business more confident, agile, and responsive to demand in the domestic and international marketplace for goods and services. This is obviously not limited to our potential success in Asia and is equally important with other trading regions.
The business community expects that the starting point to addressing the problems with the Fair Work Act would be to act on the government’s own independent panel’s report which made a number of recommendations and findings to restore balance to the Fair Work system. These include amendments to encourage greenfield agreement making, stop the capacity for unions to take industrial action before bargaining has commenced, and proposals to encourage individual flexibility agreement making which have flat-lined according to research commissioned by Fair Work Australia.
The laudable objectives of the White Paper and success that government and industry are seeking by 2025 are significantly constrained without substantive changes to key areas of the existing Australian IR system. Simply not addressing them will not make the problems go away.
For More Information:
ACCI's Director of Workplace Policy Daniel Mammone 0439 429 259