In this episode, I will talk about the continual doom and gloom comments by industry groups, those IR practitioners who mimic their comments, clarifying some confusing points about enterprise agreements, and whats in store in the coming IR mini Summit.
In episode 03 of the IR Simplified podcast I talk about penalty rates, and whether we will see their demise at the end of the Fair Work Commission review. I also ask if an employer is really the ‘bad guy’ by wanting to reduce expenses.
In this episode I talk about end of year office parties, industrial action – where the only winner is The Union, how to prevent industrial action giving a clause from an agreement as an indication and some discussion about enterprise agreements themselves.
There is a never ending battle for supremacy in industrial relations in Australia.
On one side of the battle ground you have the employer associations screaming at the government that Australia’s restrictive workplace legislation is killing productivity, blowing out wages, and restricting growth.
They also claim that the current Right of Entry provisions give the unions virtually unrestricted access to their business.
On the other side are the employee groups, or trade unions, and they are screaming the opposite. The legislation doesn’t go far enough to protect employees from unscrupulous employers or enshrine job security. And that the Right of Entry provisions are too restrictive and don’t allow permit holders quick access to workplaces to protect members when things go bad.
Both sides claim that only by joining their organisation will you be able to protect yourself from the evil that will soon come.
And yet throughout all of this, the poor business owner/manager and employee are quickly forgotten. The reality is that they are nothing more than pawns in a popularity contest to see who holds the most influence with the government of the day.
Members Are Being Lied To
The cold hard truth of the matter is that both employer and employee groups don’t want their respective potential and current members to be able to solve their IR problems themselves, because if they did, they would soon realise that there is no point in staying a member.
Whilst they do provide a ‘service’ to their members in the form of a contact line to seek advice on their IR related issue. Actual advice on how to prevent it happening again is scarce or vague at best.
Both sides tell their respective members and future members, that Australia’s employment legislation is extremely complex, and it is only with their expert help that the average person will be able to understand it.Continue reading
Steve Knott, Chief Executive of AMMA, when talking about the Fair Work Act 2009 stated “… for too long employers have battled an ineffective and uncompetitive workplace system that creates barriers and distractions to leadership, innovation and productivity.” That unions were “…forcing employers to process a phone book of union claims, effectively excluding any real opportunity to look at ways to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the business”. He goes even further to say that “The system also leaves employers under a constant threat of strike action”
Is he right, making misleading comments, or showing his lack of understanding of Australia’s employment legislation?
It should be noted that the comments above were made in support of the Fair Work Amendment (Bargaining Processes) Bill 2014 which is currently before parliament.
These terms are two of the most common ones used as ‘proof’ that the Fair Work Act 2009 is a failure.
Those on the industry side of the fence are all too quick to point out that because productivity is the lowest that it has been in a decade, and wages growth is high, that the Fair Work Act has indeed failed.
Has the Fair Work Act actually failed, or are they just scaremongering to increase public awareness of their brand/increase membership?
If the Fair Work Act has indeed failed, how much of this failure is the fault of industry?
I think they have short memories when it comes to the wages that they offered at the start of the mining boom. Bribing potential employees with the high wages to prevent a skills gap when mining took off.