Who’s To Blame? The Act or Industry?

Productivity and wages blowout.

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.

And as a result, they have had to continue the unsustainable increases to retain the staff they have.

Is it also fair to say that the Act is a failure when pay increases, and lack of productivity are agreed to by the respective companies?

6% annual increases doesn’t highlight a failure in the Fair Work Act, it highlights a failure by the company negotiators.

While greenfields agreements do need to be negotiated with an employee group, there is no reason why the following agreements need to have as much union input as they do.

It is worth remembering that people only join a union because they feel they need to.

Granted the unions have Right of Entry access to workers during their lunch break, though the employer does have the rest of the day to engage with their employees about relevant issues.

If they fail to do so, then the fault can’t really be blamed on the Act can it?

Isn’t time that employers took ownership of the current system, and started using it to their benefit, rather than holding their breath hoping things will change?

This article first appeared on Cameron’s LinkedIn profile, and you can read it here

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