By: Natasha Hawker
Good morning to a new Coalition run Australia. After quite possibly the longest ever campaign in Australia’s history we’re done – but are we? After a massive swing to the Coalition across the country does this mean that SMEs need to brace themselves for further changes to the already complex world of Employment Relations? I hear you say – ‘But hey I was only just getting my head around Fair Work – arrrgghhhh!’ So what is the likelihood of large scale change in this area? Let’s look at this in more detail.
Previously, I attended a luncheon with Joe Hockey and Executive Women he was quite adamant that there was unlikely to be much change to the current employment relations landscape. I do tend to believe him, as I think that with their other major agenda items such as the Carbon Tax their focus there will leave little time for much else in the short term. I would only anticipate a couple of minor tweaks, for example, reducing the Unions ready access to the workplace this area. Presently, I don’t see that there is much appetite within the government to revert to Work Choices. It is a very low priority for them at the moment. They are much more likely to try and increase productivity using other levers, such as company tax and the Carbon tax. This is despite an increased appetite amongst businesses for greater relaxing of Employment Relations legislation however, I would not pin too much hope on this coming off in the near future.
Even if I was wrong, it would take another 18 to 24 months to implement, so no urgent changes are required. However, I am always surprised at the low levels of compliance with even the basic Employment Relations requirements. Please take our HR Survey to get an instant assessment of your gaps.
My overall assessment is that it will be minimal & delayed change but my advice is if you work to achieve engaged and well managed teams then productivity and profitability will follow.