Resetting the Australian economy

In the last month, we have seen announcements from the Federal Government that have significant implications for Australian business. The Group of 100 (G100) has already had discussions with the Attorney-General’s Department offering assistance.

The Prime Minister outlined the path the Federal Government sees to reset the economy in a three-stage plan that would enable the restrictions put in place to manage the pandemic to be lifted entirely. The Prime Minister predicted that 850,000 jobs could return as a result of this staged roadmap. However, he warned that the economic recovery from the pandemic could take years.

While the details were not released, the Prime Minister said he would be formulating a JobMaker plan which would boost employment to assist dealing with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

The Prime Minister has targeted industrial relations reform and overhauling the skills and training sector as keys to the JobMaker scheme. He announced the proposed laws dealing with union activism, “Ensuring Integrity Bill”, would be dropped as the Federal Government sought to work constructively with both employers and the union movement.

The Prime Minister announced a series of working groups would hold meetings from now until September looking at different policy areas. There will be five working groups looking at:

  • Award simplification;
  • Enterprise agreement making;
  • Casuals and fixed-term employees;
  • Compliance and enforcement; and
  • Greenfield agreements for new enterprises.

Each group will include employer and union representatives, as well as individuals, chosen based on their experience and expertise. Each group will be chaired by the Attorney‑General and Minister for Industrial Relations Minister, the Hon Christian Porter MP. The groups will have until September to negotiate ways to resolve systemic industrial relations issues, ahead of the October budget.

The G100 will be asking members for comments on the five policy areas as soon as more details become available, as the G100 plans to participate with submissions where appropriate.