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AREEA sets sights on “five reforms over five years”

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Published in Workplace Express on 12 May 2016. Click here to view on source website.

Replacing the FWC with an employment tribunal and a separate appeals tribunal and expanding options for agreement- making directly between employers and employees are among “five reforms over five years” the Australian Mines and Metals Association will advocate during the election campaign.

In a letter this week to federal MPs, AREEA chief executive Steve Knott calls for a focus on enterprise bargaining, ensuring “legally protected strike action can only be taken over claims pertaining to the employment relationship, not union ‘wish lists’ of claims”.

He says the sector also seeks to enshrine an enforceable code of conduct in workplace entry laws and to remove union access to lunch rooms when other suitable rooms are available.

Unfair dismissal and general protections laws should also be reformed “to ensure employers are not forced to pay ‘go away money’ to settle claims without merit”, he says.

While advocating on “flaws and imbalances” within the Fair Work Act that affect the industry’s ability to “compete globally and attract job-creating investment”, Knott says resource companies also continue to support restoring the ABCC and extending its coverage to offshore construction and suppliers.

AREEA is also distributing results of its federal election survey, which shows “widespread industry support for fundamental reforms”, according to Knott (see Related Article).

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