Government set to conduct a comprehensive review of workplace laws


Parliament House, Canberra, Wikipedia (JJ Harrison, 2009)

Australian employment Minister Eric Abetz says the government is set to conduct a thorough review of workplace laws. The Minister however declined to state the scope of the review.

The details of the expected Productivity Commission review of Labor’s Fair Work Act are yet to be announced by the Federal Government.

According to a Fairfax Media leaked version of the review’s terms of reference, penalty rates, working conditions, workers remuneration, union militancy and the impact of the new law on employment are some of the issues to be reviewed.

Other issues to be probed include days lost during strikes, and problems experienced by small businesses.

The Minister said the review will touch on different labour laws, but gave no further details.

“We’re not in a position to pre-empt what’s going to be in the terms of reference other than to say we did promise a comprehensive, broad review of laws,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

According Brendan O’Connor, an opposition employment spokesperson, workers should be wary of the intentions of the government.

“This government has Work Choices in its DNA and it wants to return to reducing conditions of employment, particularly for low and mid income earners,” he told ABC radio.

“We know now the true intent behind this government in terms of reforming the Fair Work Act.”

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