Federal Jobs Summit and wages: RMIT expert says the new government needs to “go bold” on industrial relations reform

Federal Jobs Summit and wages: RMIT expert says the new government needs to “go bold” on industrial relations reform

An expert from RMIT University is available to talk to media about Labor’s industrial relations reforms and the need to act now to create fair and secure wages and working conditions.

Distinguished Professor Anthony Forsyth, Graduate School of Business & Law (0431 103 172 or anthony.forsyth@rmit.edu.au)

Topics: wages, fair work, industrial relations, gig-economy, Fair Work Act, enterprise bargaining

“The existing Fair Work Act has failed to provide a basis for workers to exercise power at work.” 

“After almost a decade of Coalition governments, the election of the Albanese Labor Government offers the promise of industrial relation reforms that will rebuild worker power in this country.” 

“For a start, there is a huge shift in tone and emphasis. We now have aPrime Minister and ministers who say they want to put workers first – and talk about unions in positive terms, rather than as some toxic force that must be obliterated.” 

“The new government has followed through on their commitment to support increasing the minimum wage and introducing paid family and domestic violence leave as part of the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act.” 

“There is much more on Labor’s IR reform agenda – with many of these issues to be thrashed out between business, union and civil society representatives at the Jobs and Skills Summit this week.” 

“The current system of enterprise bargaining is broken and more is needed to fundamentally transform the system so it supports collective bargaining for higher wages. We’re operating in a system of enterprise bargaining designed 30 years ago, for an economy that no longer exists.”  

“As well as having no job security and missing out on leave entitlements – casuals and others in precarious forms of work are in a much weaker position when it comes to bargaining.” 

“There’s an increasing rate of casuals in the workforce, and more than 250,000 people working in the gig economy who are automatically assumed to be entrepreneurial ‘independent contractors’.” 

“These and other forms of insecure work have to be reined in. Labor must go bold on IR reform – and not repeat the mistake of letting business interests stand in the way of much needed, worker-focused changes.”

Anthony Forsyth teaches and researches all aspects of work and the law, specialising in collective bargaining, trade unions, union education, labour hire and the gig economy. Anthony's research traces the shifting legislative agendas of Coalition and Labor Governments in Australia and connects our national discourse on workplace regulation with international debates. 


Interviews: Distinguished Professor Anthony Forsyth, 0431 103 172 or anthony.forsyth@rmit.edu.au 

General enquiries: RMIT Communications, 0439 704 077 or news@rmit.edu.au

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