A new report by Australian Resources and Energy Group, AMMA, encourages Australia to adopt ‘a multi-tiered approach’ to future workplace regulation that allows high-earning employees to largely opt-out of the legislative system.
A New Horizon: Guiding Principles for the Future of Work, states that the only way for Australia’s future workplaces to move forward is through less regulation, fewer restrictions and through policymakers resisting the push for intervention.
Building off national employer survey and interviews with resources executives, the report explores how technology, demographic and competitive factors are influencing the future of work in the resources and energy industry.
The report identifies that 88 per cent of resources and energy employers believe discussions about the ‘future of work’ should make stronger links to the regulation of work and 89 per cent of resources and energy employers believe more flexible workplace regulation would assist in implementing new technologies.
Further to this, the report notes that the World Economic Forum has ‘for several years’ warned about the growing impact of Australia’s overly-rigid approach to work regulation in its annual Global Competitiveness Report.
Australia ranked in at number 14 in the Global Competitive Index, lifted by the country’s macroeconomic stability and world-class health and financial systems, however, AMMA expects that Australia’s ranking could occupy the top 10 if the approach to workplace regulation was changed.
To achieve this, the report provides 12 principles to aid future policymaking, which range from stating that Australia’s approach to future work regulation must be grounded on creating and sustaining flexible and collaborative job opportunities, to suggesting that future policymakers rise above present-day politics in order to facilitate a work regulation system fit for the future.
AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott said that less regulation for those personnel above a nominated high-income threshold and less regulation for high-paying employers would unlock significant productivity and efficiency while also reducing regulatory burden for the highest-performing areas of Australia’s economy.
“This concept should not be viewed as overly remarkable, given areas of Australia’s present work regulation system, most notably the unfair dismissal provisions, already recognise that certain protections are not needed above a certain remuneration level,” he said.
“The extension of this rationale to the wider work system is not only logical but would lift regulatory burden and productivity barriers for employers and employees in the top tier of Australian industries.”
The AMMA also stated that Australia is at a critical crossroad, with significant forces misconstruing change as a threat, rather than an opportunity.
“Now, more than ever, discussions about the future of work are having a polarising effect,” Mr Knott said.
A New Horizon: Guiding Principles for the Future of Work can be found here.