The Fair Work Commission has hit back at Productivity Commission criticism, with its President, Iain Ross, saying that the PC's IR inquiry findings appear to reflect a "misunderstanding of [the] Commission's statutory role and functions".
Lawyers have told the Productivity Commission that its proposals to end tenure for new FWC appointees and to subject members to performance reviews would undermine the umpire's independence, while raising concern about a suggestion that only non-lawyers should determine matters in the proposed minimum standards division.
The Victorian Government has criticised the Productivity Commission's proposal to create a "two-tiered" penalty rate system, saying it is at odds with its overall view that there is no need for wholesale change to the Fair Work Act.
The Productivity Commission has called for the FWC in its four-yearly review of awards to align Sunday penalty rates in hospitality, entertainment, restaurants and cafes with those payable on Saturdays.
The Productivity Commission in its draft IR inquiry report, released this morning, has recommended the 100% Sunday penalty rates for cafes, hospitality, entertainment, restaurants and retailing be aligned with Saturday rates.
The Productivity Commission will look at the effect on skilled immigration numbers of making payment, rather than skills or family reunion, the primary basis for determining entry into the Australia during its wide-ranging immigration review.
The Australian Shipowners Association has told the Productivity Commission that it is important to understand that the starting point for the bargaining changes it is seeking is the "disproportionate industrial power" wielded by the maritime unions.