The Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today released the report of the independent review of the Fair Work Act - Towards more productive and equitable workplaces: An evaluation of the Fair Work Act.
The Review Report, prepared by an independent three member Panel, evaluated the operation of the Fair Work Act and feedback contained in over 250 written submissions from a range of employers, employees, unions, community groups, lawyers and governments.
The Panel comprised ex Federal Court Judge Hon Michael Moore, Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO and Reserve Bank Board Member John Edwards.
The Review Panel found that the Fair Work Act is operating as intended and in accordance with the objects of the legislation.
“Economic issues ranked high in the Panel’s assessment of the operation of the Act, given the considerable weight given to these objectives in the legislation, including promoting productive workplace relations, economic prosperity, achieving productivity and fairness”, Mr Shorten said.
The independent Panel has provided 53 recommendations to Government.
”I thank Panel Members for the hard work which has gone into this comprehensive and evidence based report.
“I also want to acknowledge the people, businesses and organisations who provided their submissions to the Panel. We are a Government that listens carefully to the wide range of views offered in good faith and recognise that the national economic and social debate is better for these contributions.”
The Minister reiterated his commitment to consult with the community and stakeholders on the recommendations provided by the independent Panel.
“The Government wants to hear the voices of opinion that reach far beyond those found in the written submissions. We want to know what the community at large thinks about the Panel’s recommendations so we can assess the merits of the report,” Mr Shorten said.
“I urge stakeholders to use this opportunity to work constructively with the Government utilising the contributions of the report."
The Report was conducted in line with the Office of Best Practice Regulation’s requirements for a post implementation review.
“The Fair Work Act has now been reviewed and its fundamental operation endorsed by an independent Panel.
“Workplace relations is about balance, productivity and fairness that works for both employers and employees, and the Review has found Labor’s framework has struck that balance.
“The Gillard Government has consistently taken a robust public policy approach to workplace relations, starting with the release of extensive policy detail before the 2007 election, through to exposure drafts of legislation, consultation on the implementation of the Fair Work Act and the release of this review, which represents the culmination of this open and transparent policy process.
“It is time for the Opposition to contribute to the national workplace relations debate by revealing their secret policies for Australian workplaces and participate in this fundamentally important debate for working Australians.”
03 August 2012