Are the days of enterprise bargaining numbered?

October 9, 2018
FCB Workplace Law

Australia’s top union official Sally McManus is calling on the Labor Government to back a radical reform to Australia’s Fair Work Act if it wins the next election.

As part of the reform McManus is ramping up pressure for industry wide bargaining stating the “enterprise-only bargaining system is failing.”

McManus outlined the ACTU’s plans to shake up the system and move away from enterprise bargaining toward industry-wide bargaining in a speech last week at John Curtin Research Centre.

The union leader has argued Labor needs to move away from the “inefficiencies” of enterprise level bargaining and reinvent the industrial relations system to ensure employees “get a fair go”.

McManus’ speech comes as the ACTU prepares for mass protest rallies across the country. This will begin with a rally of up to 150,000 workers in Melbourne on 23 October in what is described as Melbourne’s “largest” union rally. These protests are set to continue to build momentum for the upheaval of federal industrial relations laws in the lead up to the election.

The union movement is reasserting itself and applying significant pressure to Labor to meet their demands if elected. However whilst the movement continues to critique Australia’s industrial relations framework employers are left asking what this means for their workforce and whether their days of enterprise bargaining are numbered?

For many employers who heavily rely on enterprise bargaining an overhaul of the system would mean significant changes to their labour strategies. For more information on what a new industrial relations era might mean for your business contact our Workplace Relations Specialists today.