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IR reforms to lift Australia’s post-pandemic recovery

resources and energy

Streamlining agreement making, simplifying the safety net and reducing the enormous risk, cost and uncertainty in Australia’s employment system, are the top priority industrial relations reforms provided by Australian resources employers to the Prime Minister for the post-COVID-19 recovery.

Ahead of his National Press Club address, Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA has provided Mr Morrison with the industry’s Post-Pandemic IR Reform Framework.

“In the post-COVID environment we need a system that encourages business to employ, and gets jobseekers back into the workforce,” AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott AM said.

“Our reforms are about keeping people in work, getting more people in work and improving existing pay and conditions.

“With up to 20% of the private sector predicted to be either unemployed or underemployed in coming months, these reforms are targeted at streamlining and incentivising new employment during the post-pandemic recovery.”

AMMA’s IR reform framework covers three areas of longstanding frustration for the resources and energy industry and the business community more broadly:

  • Agreement Making: unnecessarily technical, far too slow and limited in options.
  • The Safety Net: the most complex in the world and a source of significant burden and red-tape.
  • Risk, Cost & Uncertainty: including casual employment liabilities, uncertainty on personal leave entitlements, and the huge costs of unfair dismissal and ‘adverse action’ laws.

“The COVID-19 crisis has lifted the lid on just how poorly designed Australia’s industrial relations system really is,” Mr Knott said.

“Years of uninterrupted economic growth and near-full employment have provided successive Australian Governments the convenience of looking the other way on industrial relations reform.

“This is a luxury the Morrison Government no longer has. We have to get back in the business of industrial relations reform for Australia to bounce back in the post-COVID recovery period.

“AMMA and its members are pleased to learn industrial relations reforms will form part of the Prime Ministers post-pandemic economic recovery plan to be unveiled, and look forward to engaging in the process of reform over coming weeks and months.

“Whilst challenged enormously by COVID-19, AMMA’s resources and energy members are well-placed to lead our nation’s economic recovery, through both the sustainability of existing operations and the $100 billion in new major projects at an advanced stage in Australia’s investment pipeline.”

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