The Australian Government today delivered on an election commitment to have the independent Productivity Commission conduct an expert review of the workplace relations system to ensure the Fair Work laws worked for all Australians.
The Productivity Commission’s 12 month review involved extensive public consultation and received over 350 submissions from individual employees, employers, unions and social groups.
The Productivity Commission’s final report into the workplace relations system was tabled in Parliament today.
This is a report to the Government, not a report by the Government.
Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash today also announced a series of roundtable discussions with employees, employers, unions, social welfare groups and women’s groups to consult on the Productivity Commission’s final report.
The roundtable discussions will be held in early 2016 and will focus on the Government’s key priorities of:
- promoting jobs and productivity
- providing incentives to prevent long term unemployment, particularly for youth
- ensuring a future-focussed workplace relations system, and
- increasing women’s workforce participation.
The Productivity Commission found there were problems with the current system but has called for its repair rather than its replacement.
“I look forward to a mature and constructive discussion in the coming months over what the expert Productivity Commission has recommended and what we as a nation need to do to promote the best interests of all Australians for the future,” Minister Cash said.
“I am confident that the Australian people will see through the entirely predictable and misleading scare campaign by Labor and the unions – a campaign which has already begun in earnest.
“As Minister for Employment and Minister for Women I am keen to engage with stakeholders on what can be done to sustainably reduce youth unemployment and to increase women’s workforce participation.
“As the Government has said all along, we will carefully consider the final report and its recommendations, and if there is a good case for sensible and fair changes to the workplace relations framework, these will be clearly outlined and taken to the next election to seek a mandate from the Australian people.
"I thank the Productivity Commission and its staff for their efforts and professionalism in producing this expert report to guide our national conversation on these important reforms.”
Further information on the Productivity Commission’s report can be found on its website: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/workplace-relations#report.