The Unfair Work Act

The Unfair Work Act

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“Fair Work has been a disaster for our economy, for businesses and, importantly, for thousands of Australian workers,” said Gideon Rozner, research fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

The IPA Dignity of Work Project has today released its first major report: Fair Work and the Right to Work by IPA research fellow Gideon Rozner.

“The regulatory nightmare created by Fair Work has become an albatross around the neck of Australian businesses, locking thousands of Australians out of the work force.”

The report finds that applications made to the Fair Work Commission alleging unfair dismissal and similar causes of action have more than tripled over the last decade, going from less than 6,000 in 2005-06 to over 18,000 in 2015-16.

Only eight per cent of award workers are actually on the minimum wage. The remainder are on a series of ‘shadow minimum wages’ that continue to creep upwards due to ‘rent-seeking’ by unions as awards are revised.

“Enterprise bargaining is also being used by trade unions to influence operational and management decisions that they were not able to prior to Fair Work, which removed the limits on what an EBA could contain. One consequence of this is that unions are increasingly limiting businesses’ ability to use independent contractors and labour hire companies, creating a ‘closed shop’ dynamic in many industries.”

“Despite union membership at record lows. Fair Work has reinstated the role of trade unions at the heart of Australia’s industrial relations system. The unions have, in turn, been the juice in the machine that has made Fair Work so insidiously bad for the right to work.”

“Unions are driving pay and conditions of awards up via the modernisation and review process, holding businesses to ransom through enterprise bargaining laws, dragging employers to the Fair Work Commission over frivolous unfair dismissal claims for which the union bares no cost and, therefore, no risk.”

“For the sake of the more than 700,000 Australians currently looking for work, the Australian government must remove the regulatory and economic barriers that stop businesses hiring,” said Mr Rozner.

Download the media release here

To read the full report click here

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]

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