Workplace Relations system review will take vision, leadership

| July 10, 2019

The founder of Australia’s largest workplace relations consultancy has urged the Morrison Government to be courageous in delivering the workplace relations system review, and to consider changes that give small business owners and employers greater certainty and confidence to grow.

Managing Director of Employsure Ed Mallett said that the proposed review could help reduce the red tape and compliance issues that are preventing business growth.

“The Federal Government’s announcement that it would review workplace relations is a welcome step towards creating a fairer and more efficient system for small business owners,” he said. “It will come down to action, and settling on a program that drives reform.

“This is a chance for the Government to deliver real change in the workplace relations. Reform can sometimes be met with resistance, but if we can have constructive conversations will all parts of the labour sector I’m confident we can find a way to reform that benefits everyone.

“It will take vision and leadership to deliver those changes, but these are the conversations we need to have.”

The comments come after the AI Group and Australian Mines and Metals Association outlined a six-step approach to delivering the review, including clearer definitions for casual workers and a close examination of unfair dismissal laws and adverse action.

Employsure’s own data echoed those sentiments, with 65% of its own client base recently saying the workplace laws are too confusing, and 58% saying they are not fair to both employers and employers. A further 76% said that the simplification of workplace laws should be a key issue for public policy.

“The proposals outlined by the AI Group and AMMA are a common sense and sustainable approach to delivering the change Australia needs,” Mallett said. “The Fair Work Ombudsman has already signalled its intent to step up compliance and enforcement action in various business sectors.

“While rogue operators deserve to be caught and punished, it also creates an environment of fear amongst the sector generally, which is not conducive to growth.

“A fair and equitable workplace relations system benefits everyone. It protects worker entitlements, creates safe workplaces and stimulates fair and meaningful work. It also provides the framework for business growth, reducing the red tape that often prevents small business owners from growing their businesses.”