In January 2020, AREEA wrote to Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter, encouraging the Morrison Government to undertake a full-scale review into the performance of the Fair Work Commission.
Various longstanding employer concerns were raised as justification for such a review, including:
- Ongoing delays and complexity in approvals for Enterprise Agreements;
- Strong preference towards ALP-appointed members when determining the composition of Full Bench matters (especially significant matters);
- Over-reliance on public servant conciliators for General Protections matters (and the poor outcomes associated);
- Unfair dismissal decisions that undermine management decisions including in relation to critical workplace safety issues; and
- General treatment of Coalition-appointed members including sidelining of those appointed most recently in late 2018.
Other recommendations made by AREEA to the A-G include to appoint more members to the tribunal and to seek more clarity on the process for allocating members to Full Bench matters.
Click here to view the full letter, dated 29-01-2020.
Click here to view supporting data into composition of FWC Full Benches 2017-2019.