Dear Committee Secretary,
The purpose of this letter is to share research and analysis conducted by the Institute of Public
Affairs (the IPA) with the Education and Employment Legislation Committee as it conducts its
inquiry into the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 (the bill).
The findings contained in this submission are based on analysis conducted by the IPA relating to Australia’s economic prosperity, the challenges arising from the nation’s worker shortage, and the place of the dignity of work as part of Australia’s industrial relations system.
IPA analysis of the bill has made the following findings:
- The bill undermines the longstanding principle of freedom of contract and creates workplace uncertainty by further empowering the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to rewrite workplace contracts.
- The bill will impose more industrial red tape which will further disincentivise private sector investment that is already at a near-historic low rate.
- The bill disincentivises employment at a time when Australia is experiencing unprecedented worker shortages.
On the basis of these findings, the IPA recommends the bill should be abandoned. If the bill proceeds, then provisions creating an exemption for small businesses should be extended to medium-sized enterprises and broadened to apply to provisions relating to casual conversion. Separately, the parliament should focus on addressing Australia’s worker shortage challenge by removing the unfair tax and red tape rules deterring Australians from working.