BCA wants big changes
The Business Council of Australia wants employers to get their workers behind productivity-boosting workplace reforms.
Business lobbies and Coalition MPs want the Federal Government to enter the industrial relations furore.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott is laying out a series of practical “bite-sized” measures to raise living standards and wage growth in a speech in WA this week.
Complex enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) should be unscrambled, Ms Westacott says, and that the Fair Work Commission's ‘better off overall test’ should be scrapped.
She wants it replaced with a simpler ‘no-disadvantage’ test.
“EBAs have become Downton Abbey-sized laundry lists, containing way too many items,” Ms Westacott said.
“This bogs down negotiations, agreements take too long to conclude, and it stifles the ability of both employers and workers to respond to changing circumstances.”
The central business lobby wants federal parliament to pass laws making it easier to de-register unions and ban officials.
It also wants a bill tightening the rules around worker entitlement funds.
Ms Westacott has backed Labor's pre-election proposal for enterprise agreements to last the life of new projects.
“We can't allow the EBA system to die the death of a thousand cuts,” she said.
Additionally, the speech called for an end to the energy policy “wars” to drive down power prices.
Ms Westacott believes more access to gas is critical to the transition to a lower emissions economy.
The business council also wants skills changes – calling for a single information point for post-secondary education and skills, along with greater action to boost literacy levels.
“I want business to come together on these pretty simple propositions and mobilise their employees, their shareholders, their suppliers and the communities they operate in,” Ms Westacott said.
“Because we must start taking some action. Because it is business that will drive productivity.”