A recent survey of AHRI members reveals more than half of respondents believe the Fair Work Act has increased the cost to businesses of industrial relations.
Almost 65 per cent of the 813 members who responded to the poll believe the act has increased costs either greatly (24 per cent) or a little (40 per cent).
Overall, respondents were in favour of changing the act, with 16 per cent preferring no change, 41 per cent preferring incremental change and 36 per cent preferring a fundamental rewriting of the act.
The survey was completed as part of an AHRI submission to the Productivity Commission on how HR professionals experience the Fair Work Act operating in Australian workplaces.
The commission seeks to review an array of topics from unemployment and job creation to equitable pay, compliance and independent contracting.
It therefore requested submissions as part of a public inquiry to examine the performance of the act and to identify areas for improvement. Submissions closed on Friday, with 60 submissions now available to view on the Workplace Relations Framework site.
The diverse submissions touch on an array of topics in order to assess the capacity of the framework to adapt in the long term to issues arising from changes in the global economy.
Long, unpredictable and non-standard hours were the top concern of the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, as a major impediment to time for healthy eating, physical activity and sufficient sleep. It urged the commission to consider the long term consequences that working hours will have on the greater community, in particular in terms of eroding health and impeding care arrangements.
The Australian Dairy Farmers raised concerns around employing new workers due to a lack of flexibility in workplace relations framework, where the three-hour minimum engagement clause is longer than necessary for morning milking.
The review will ultimately make recommendations about how the laws can be improved to maximize outcomes for employers, employees and the economy.
The full AHRI submission is available on the AHRI website.