The passage through Parliament of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill in the early hours of this morning has been warmly welcomed by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Australia’s workplace relations laws should ensure that as far as possible, the duties imposed on unions and employer organisations and penalties for non-compliance are equal to those that apply to companies,” according to Brett Hogan, Director of Research.
“Transferring responsibility for the regulation of unions and employer organisations from the Fair Work Commission to a new, independent Registered Organisations Commission will also help to improve standards of behaviour.”
In August 2015, the Institute of Public Affairs made a submission to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, advocating many of these changes.
“Institutions and their attitude to the law are part of the cultural problem that was revealed during testimony at the Royal Commission,” says Mr Hogan. “The IPA is a strong supporter of freedom of association and the right of individuals to join or not to join a union. However, this principle should not be used to justify a second-class system of responsibilities and enforcement.”
“Unions are always calling for greater regulation of companies – it is only fair that they are subject to the same rules,” says Mr Hogan.
“There is more work to be done to put freedom to work and freedom to hire at the heart of the workplace system, said IPA Legal Fellow Aaron Lane.
“Australians deserve workplace laws that promote the dignity of work and allow every Australian to enjoy earned success. The abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the passage of legislation protecting CFA volunteers, and now this bill shows that meaningful workplace relations reform is possible,” Mr Lane said.
The IPA’s full submission to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption is available here
For media and comment: Brett Hogan, Director of Research, Institute of Public Affairs, on 0407 273 884, or at [email protected]
For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]