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Australian Federal Election Reforms

IR Policy and the 2019 Federal Election

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Reform agenda

The IR policy platform the ALP will take to the coming election is bold and transparent. Our team at HSF will publish a series of articles in the weeks approaching the election to examine the practical impacts for business. In the first, we examine the overarching narrative.

Whilst the platform includes a broad array of measures, they all point towards clear objectives. Unlike 2007, when certain features of the existing legislation were the target of the ALP policy, in 2019 there is a much broader target. To increase wages – and to do so more quickly, to reduce the use of labour hire and casual employees, and to make it more difficult for employers to avoid enterprise bargaining outcomes.

But the existing system will stay. The architecture both sides of politics have adhered to for over 25 years will remain. However the dials will be turned hard towards these objectives. Multiple features within that architecture will be subject to significant change. The platform is clear. It doesn’t pull any punches. The IR legislation of an incoming ALP government will not be timid or half hearted.

It was once said (and many times repeated) that “[t]he adage ‘‘all is fair in love and war’’ is… as much applicable to industrial warfare as to any other type.”

“All is fair in love and war” – but what about in industrial relations?

A key element of the ALP industrial relations platform is to ‘reduce the incidence of insecure work’

The ‘attack’ on ‘insecure work’ – protection for vulnerable workers or another agenda altogether?

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