Time ripe for urgent IR repairs: employers

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 19-May-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has proposed five changes to the industrial relations system to create jobs and boost productivity in the post-coronavirus work environment. Amongst other things, ACCI CEO James Pearson has called for employee stand-down provisions to be extended until March 2021, while companies should be permitted to stagger the times at which employees start and finish work without incurring overtime payments. Pearson has outlined his suggestions in a letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, ACTU

Don’t take away job payments: employers

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-May-20

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the $130bn JobKeeper scheme must run its full course, and it should be extended beyond the current end date of 27 September if necessary. He has also cautioned against any move to reduce the amount of the wage subsidy, which is currently $1,500 per fortnight. Some Coalition MPs argue that businesses which have resumed normal operations should no longer receive the subsidy, but Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong suggests that such businesses should instead be allowed to opt out of the scheme.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Porter seeks Hawke-style accord with unions to spark a recovery

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Greg Brown, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Apr-20

Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong has called for the industrial awards system to be abolished, while Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says awards should be retained but simplified. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has signalled that workplace reform will be on the federal government’s agenda. He hopes to build on recent good relations with ACTU secretary Sally McManus to have constructive discussions with union leaders regarding workplace reforms aimed at creating jobs and boosting wages when the coronavirus abates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU

Call to delay minimum wage rise

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 17-Mar-20

The Australian Industry Group has not made a recommendation on an increase in the minimum wage in its submission to the Fair Work Commission. It has cited the uncertain outlook for the economy by 1 July, when any rise in the minimum wage is slated to take effect. Ai Group has also urged a delay in any such increase until 15 July; it argues that the FWC should hold off on finalising its wage review until after the release of national accounts data on 3 July. Ai Group CEO Innes Willox has warned that every segment of the economy will be affected by the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Employer warning on wage reforms

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 2-Mar-20

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has criticised a proposal to allow workers to trade off penalty rates in return for higher basic wages. Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross has raised the prospect of extending ‘loaded rates’ in enterprise agreements to workers who are covered by industry awards. Employers’ groups have expressed support for the proposal, but some warn that it will not succeed if the FWC continues to adopt a ‘technical approach’ to approving enterprise agreements.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Unions push for jail terms for wage theft

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-Oct-19

The ACTU has urged the federal government to introduce harsher penalties for employers who underpay their staff. Its submission to the government’s compliance discussion paper advocates a maximum jail term of five years or a fine of up to $2m for individuals and $10m for a company. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has in turn expressed concern about imposing criminal penalties for breaches of workplace laws. It has argued that such penalties should also apply to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Call to freeze wages for low-paid

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 14-Mar-19

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Juliana Payne has warned that the ACTU’s push to increase the minimum wage to 60 per cent of median earnings will result in job cuts. She says there should be no increase in the minimum wage in 2019 due to the above-inflation increases of recent years, and notes that the sector cannot pass on the cost of wage rises to customers. Meanwhile, the Australian Retailers ­Association supports a 1.8 per cent increase in the minimum wage, although a survey has found that about 50 per cent of its members favour leaving it unchanged in 2019.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Shorten talks up living wage bid

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 7-Mar-19

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has warned that a significant increase in minimum wage would result in job losses, a reduction in hours of work for many people and business failures. He was responding to comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who has told a business summit that the minimum wage is too low and is no longer a living wage. ACTU secretary Sally McManus has again reiterated the need for a living wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Permaflexi plan a ruse to reduce pay, unions war

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 12 : 1-Mar-19

Health Services Union secretary Lloyd Williams has criticised a push by employers for the Fair Work Commission to recognise a new category of employment. So-called ‘permaflexi’ workers would be paid a 10 per cent loading in exchange for flexible rostering, while they would also receive sick leave and annual leave entitlements. The NSW Business Chamber’s application states that workers who are hired under a "flexible ongoing employment" arrangement would have a minimum of 1-3 hours’ work per week.

CORPORATES
HEALTH SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

BCA has had a gutful of politics

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 28-Feb-19

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott has urged both sides of federal politics to cease their attacks on the business sector and focus on policies to stimulate the economy and wages. She is particularly critical of the government’s proposal to force energy companies to divest assets if they fail to reduce electricity prices, arguing that it will deter investment in Australia and will doing little to provide price relief. Westacott has also criticised Labor’s proposed banking industry reforms in response to the Hayne royal commission.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY