Right now the workplace relations system takes a one-size-fits-all approach and limits the ability for businesses and their staff to negotiate over arrangements that reflect their particular circumstances. This makes it harder for businesses to hire staff at a time when about 250,000 young people are out of work.
The current system of collective agreement making assumes that unions and their members negotiate collectively with employers. But the process can often be improved by employers and employees dealing with each other directly, rather than through a third party.
An adversarial approach is inconsistent with modern business practices, where managers and their teams share a common vision and work together for mutual benefit.
The workplace relations system should create an environment where wages and conditions are set by workplace agreements that can be negotiated collectively or individually, with or without a union. The expansion of bargaining options to reflect this reality will make businesses more competitive within Australian and export markets, allowing all parties to share in the benefits of a growing business.