Business wants Fair Work Act review

Key business groups are pushing the government to begin the
planned Productivity Commission review into the Fair Work Act.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox told the Australian that the sooner the review begins the better.

“There is no doubt
that improvements to workplace arrangements are a fundamental ingredient in the
much-needed task of lifting the productivity and competitiveness of our
businesses,” he said.

“It is particularly important in the context of the sluggish
domestic economy, weak employment growth and rising unemployment.’’

And, as reported by AAP, the Australian Chamber of Commerce
and Industry called for the final terms of reference to be released.

The organisation’s chief executive Kate Carnell said that
the review process should include sufficient time for the commission’s
recommendations to be publicly debated.

The draft terms of reference for the inquiry state that it
will assess the impact of the Fair Work Act on 11 broad areas, such as unemployment,
productivity and the ability of companies to respond to changing economic
conditions. It is also expected that it will look at more specific policy
areas such as possible changes to penalty rates.

The calls for IR reform come as wages growth is at a record
low.

AAP reports that, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS)
wage price index increased by 2.6 per cent for the year to June. This is
significantly lower than the inflation rate of just three per cent.

The seasonally adjusted annual figure was the equal lowest
result since the ABS started issuing the data in 1997.