Ai Group - Australian Industry Group

04/23/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/22/2024 21:13

Net Zero Economy Authority Bill – treading on very sensitive IR ground

Ai Group Senate inquiry submission

The national employer association The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has today released its submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Finance and Public Administration during their inquiry into the provisions of the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill 2024 (Bill) and the Net Zero Economy Authority (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2024 (Inquiry).

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said:

"Although we are strongly supportive of elements of the Bill, we have deep concerns with aspects of Part 5 which deal with various workplace relations matters. This part of the Bill must be substantially amended for it to be reasonable and workable.

"The proposed Energy Industry Jobs Plan established under Part 5 of the Bill treads on very sensitive ground. Australia's workplace relations framework for addressing redundancies is the product of many years of difficult and sophisticated work by employers, employees, the Fair Work Commission and governments. It should not be altered lightly, and certainly not without much greater engagement with industry than has occurred to date in relation to the detail of Part 5 of the Bill.

"Ai Group recognises that all parties impacted by the transition ahead and a co-operative approach to dealing with such matters should be promoted. Nonetheless, there are elements of Part 5 of the Bill that will impose intolerably unclear, unjustified and problematic obligations on employers.

"Aspects of this Part of the Bill will overlap with, and undermine, longstanding and carefully developed aspects of current workplace relation laws dealing with matters related to redundancy. As framed, it is a recipe for disputation with the potential to expose employers to costly proceedings in the Fair Work Commission at a time when they will be facing significant hardships.

"Although Ai Group does not support the imposition of many of the additional obligations on employers contemplated by part 5 of the Bill, we have sought to constructively identify a range of sensible changes that should be made to Part 5 of the Bill.

"Ai Group's proposed changes and views on other aspects of the Bill are detailed in our Senate Submission," Mr Willox said.

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