Employees and professional contractors alike are at the cornerstone of the Australian economy and therefore should be well protected under workplace relations framework.
However, according to a draft report from the Productivity Commission, current laws aren’t going far enough to protect these employees and offer greater flexibility.
As part of this report, released in early August, the commission has made a number of recommendations that would support employees and contractors moving forward. This included creating tighter frameworks around contracting and labour hire, clearer legislation around employees taking public holidays and reducing the red tape around unfair dismissal cases.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Kate Carnell explained that the draft report is key to ensuring positive workplace relations in the future.
“Given the importance of workplace relations to our future productivity and prosperity, we are thankful that the Commission is studying our existing arrangements and looking at ways they can be improved,” she said.
“The claim by some critics that there is no need for any review, let alone change, is absurdly complacent and will consign Australia to slowing productivity gains. For the sake of the 750,000 people, including 280,000 young people, who are unemployed, we must do better.”
While the ACCI supports the work of the Productivity Commission, Ms Carnell cited the need for the framework to extend further into anti-bullying and unfair dismissal laws. As such, the ACCI will continue to push these issues on behalf of contractors and employees.
With the final report expected to be released in the coming months, Ms Carnell believes it is vital the commission follows through this draft.
“It is very important that the final report includes recommendations that will create employment opportunities and the prosperity that comes through work. ACCI will do all it can to ensure this outcome is achieved,” she remarked.
Unemployment rate falls
When referencing possible changes to employment framework, it is important to note the changes occurring across the country. According to Roy Morgan latest statistics, unemployment is down 1.5 per cent on July 2014 figures to 8.7 per cent.
In fact, 547,000 Australians have found full-time employment since July 2014, taking the total in this category to close to 8 million.
With the prospects for both employees and contractors looking brighter, it’s vital for recruiters and businesses to support their workforces. This is where Oncore Services can be of assistance.