Submission to the Productivity Commission's Workplace Relations Inquiry Draft Report

The Business Council's strong view is that the workplace relations system of today does not position us well for the future.

We need a workplace relations system that creates an environment where innovation is encouraged to thrive, and there is a focus on the unique circumstances of the enterprise.

The Productivity Commission had undertaken a significant and important piece of work, and their draft recommendations and focus on establishing a safety net should not be recontested. However, the final report needs a much more extensive reform agenda, with an emphasis on repairing Modern Awards and agreement making.

Awards need to be streamlined to the core purpose of establishing a floor of wages and conditions, and the number of awards need to be reduced.

Agreement making needs to establish collaborative rather than combative relationships. We need a clear set of rules that specifies what can be included in agreements, and workers and enterprises should be able to choose to negotiate an individual agreement.

The ultimate test the Productivity Commission should apply before finalising their report is whether their proposals will create a workplace relations system that drives collaboration, innovation, and ultimately, productivity – the key to job creation and wage growth.