HopgoodGanim is preparing a submission to the Productivity Commission in relation to the full review of the workplace relations system in Australia. We invite our clients to provide their comments and input for inclusion in our submission, which is due by 13 March 2015. 

By way of background, on the 19th of December 2014 the federal government released the Terms of Reference for an inquiry into Australia’s workplace relations framework. 

The Fair Work Act has now been in place for over five years and the Productivity Commission will be undertaking a public inquiry to examine the performance of Australia’s workplace relations framework and identify improvements to it. The improvements that are adopted will be taken by the current government to the next election. 

The Commission has been asked to review the impact of the workplace relations framework on matters including:

  • unemployment, underemployment and job creation;
  • fair and equitable pay and conditions for employees, including the maintenance of a relevant safety net;
  • small business;
  • productivity, competitiveness and business investment;
  • the ability of business and the labour market to respond appropriately to changing economic conditions and patterns of engagement in the labour market;
  • the ability of employers to flexibly manage and engage with their employees;
  • barriers to bargaining;
  • red tape and the compliance burden for employers;
  • industrial conflict and days lost due to industrial action; and
  • appropriate scope for independent contracting

All industry participants are being encouraged to participate in this review as it will shape the future legal framework.  The initial discussion papers have been released and can be found at http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/workplace-relations.