In a new report, the Business Council of Australia has turned its sights on penalty rates, the permitted content of enterprise agreements and unwanted third party intervention in employment relationships, at the same time advocating that the safety net of pay and conditions be "strongly enforced".
The Senate's Education and Employment Legislation Committee has recommended today that the upper house pass the government's Fair Work Amendment Bill unamended, with the ALP and the Greens tabling separate reports opposing the legislation.
A senior IR lawyer has told the HR Nicholls Society the Fair Work Act should be amended to ban protected industrial action that has serious consequences and to remove entirely the rights of high income earners to strike, in a presentation predicting the decline of the MUA's power and influence.
Oil and gas companies are pushing the federal government to introduce special greenfields agreements lasting more than five years for "major" projects involving at least $50m in capital spending and to boost certainty by giving employers an automatic right to an arbitrated extension of the deals.
Labor and Greens members that make up the majority of a Senate committee have adopted AiG's view that substantial elements of the Abbott Government's Registered Organisations Bill are too onerous and need to be relaxed.
The Coalition has largely succeeded in neutralising IR as a 2013 federal election issue by promising to retain – at least for one term – Labor's Fair Work framework, but Australia's two major parties are still going to the September 7 poll with some significant policy differences, including on paid parental leave, right of entry, and construction industry regulation. Workplace Express compares their IR policies and those of the Greens, whose future hold on the Senate balance of power is uncertain.