Fair Work Act review released this afternoon
Publication of the long-awaited Fair Work Act review took place this afternoon in the form of a 294 page report containing over 50 recommendations for change.
Photo - Jim Wilson
Several of the recommendations related to enterprise bargaining and industrial action, both of which have been the subject of much unrest in the maritime sector over the last 24 months.
In the area of enterprise bargaining, the review's recommendations are that the Fair Work Act be amended so that:
- employees would be prohibited from opting out of enterprise bargaining agreements;
- individual union officials should be prevented from being bargaining representatives where that particular union has no coverage of that particular workforce;
- Fair Work Australia should be empowered to intervene on its own motion where it considers that conciliation could assist in resolving a greenfields bargaining dispute;
- good faith bargaining obligations should be applied to proposed variations of enterprise agreements;
- notices given by employers to employees informing the workforce of their right to be represented in bargaining ought to be published on the FWA website.
M eanwhile, in respect of protected industrial action, the review recommends that:
- the minister lose his or her power to terminate protected industrial action when that industrial action threatens the life, health or safety of any part of population or threatens significant damage to an important part of the Australian economy;
- application for a protected action ballot order may only be made when bargaining for a proposed agreement has commenced, either voluntarily or because a majority support determination has been obtained;
- employee who becomes a union member after a protected action ballot order is obtained by that union ought to be included on the roll of voters for the ballot, and to vote on and take protected industrial action.
Download a copy of the Fair Work Act review by clicking on the link below. Note: clicking on this link will open a large PDF file.
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