As a key pillar of Australia’s institutional framework, the workplace relations system must safeguard employee protections without sti ing businesses from creating the jobs and economic activity that underpins our standard of living. This requires
a flexible approach that allows employers and employees to negotiate work agreements that meet their specific circumstances, while ensuring a protection against the misuse of negotiating power. Importantly, our workplace relations system should aim to promote employers and employees as equal stakeholders in Australia’s competitiveness and productivity.
The AMCA believes the following principles are vital for a modern, flexible and productive workplace relations system:
- Employers and employees should be free to negotiate tailored working arrangements that meet their respective circumstances and allow firms to be competitive in a dynamic and global operating environment.
- Workers should be protected by minimum terms and conditions of employment that are consistent with the Australian community’s expectations about respect for individuals, and that support an appropriate standard of living.
- Australia’s workplace relations system should be as simple and streamlined as possible, providing enough guidance to ensure that workers are protected, but with an emphasis on outcomes and substance over process and prescription.
- Flexible and low-cost mechanisms of dispute resolution should be equally available to all stakeholders, and should be designed to encourage the fast and efficient resolution of genuine disputes while discouraging gaming and spurious claims.
- As a high income, high-cost economy, Australia’s future economic prosperity – including both job and wage growth – is dependent on innovation and productivity growth; therefore, employees and employers must be equal stakeholders in productivity growth.