This edition of Everybody Out focusses on the Jobs and Skills Summit, currently being conducted in Parliament House, in Canberra.
Tony Burke, the Minister for Industrial Relations has flagged, very early at the Summit, that he intends, next week (w/c 5 Sept), to commence a process of consultation with respect to a series of IR issues. These include:
Among areas for “further work”,
- Stronger access to flexible working arrangements
- Stronger protections against adverse action, harassment and discrimination
- Ensuring all workers can negotiate in good faith
- Ensuring workers and businesses have flexibility options for reaching industrial agreements, whether multi or single enterprise bargaining
- Making the better off overall test (BOOT) simple, flexible and fair
Burke said there are calls for additional funding to help employer representatives and union representatives improve safety, fairness and productivity in workplaces.
With a push for legislative amendments “to give workers the right to challenge unfair contractual terms”, Burke says this is “something that requires quite a bit of consultation”.
Burke said other proposals in this basket include allowing the FWC to set minimum standards to ensure the road transport industry is “safe, sustainable and viable”, ensuring that workers “have access to representation to address genuine safety and compliance issues at work”, and boosting funding for the FWC to build cooperating workplace relationships.
With some participants also raising the issue of a living wage, he said there is “a lot of work” [involved in] developing something like that but let’s start that process”.