Does Australia have the right IR system for the workplace of the future?

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14 July 2015

Four of Australia’s leading employment and union representatives speak out about Australia’s industrial relations system and how it must change for the workplace of the future. In the next few decades it is predicted that up to 75% of current job types could disappear as the full effect of digital disruption unfolds.

Catherine Livingstone AO (BCA/Telstra), Innes Willox (Ai Group), Steve Knott (AMMA) and Tim Lyons (formerly with the ACTU) share their views on what needs to change, and what they most want from the Productivity Commission’s Review of the Workplace Relations Framework.

Catherine Livingstone AO, President, Business Council of Australia and Chairman, Telstra - Do we have the right IR system for the workplace of the 2020s?

“We’re on the precipice of major disruption to how we work and the emergence of a future we can’t even imagine. The real question is how we forge a fundamentally different industrial relations system.”

Innes Willox, Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group - Does the IR system need to change to embrace jobs of the future?

“Our current IR system needs to move away from awards and a public service mentality if Australia is to become of the innovative country of the future.”

Steve Knott, CEO, Australian Mines & Metals Association - Industrial relations and falling productivity: Is there a connection?

“Productivity has been declining over the past 10 years and Australia’s industrial relations laws haven’t helped. The system imposes additional costs that can render projects uncompetitive.”

Tim Lyons, Former Assistant Secretary, ACTU - Where do unions fit in the workplace of the future?

“The core of Australia’s industrial relations system is fundamentally right. What Australia needs now is a grown up conversation about how we drive productivity into the future to secure the nation’s prosperity.”


The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.


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