A review of the 2015 amendments to the Fair Work Act's greenfields agreements provisions has rejected union pleas to axe "last offer" arbitration - despite a failure by employers to utilise it - and has recommended reducing from six months to three the "negotiating period" before the FWC can break deadlocks.
A Senate inquiry has recommended passage of a bill that scraps mandatory four-yearly award review and has backed the FWC's proposal to backdate provisions allowing the tribunal to correct minor errors in bargaining notices.
The number of enterprise agreements terminated by the FWC has accelerated dramatically in recent years, particularly for relatively small union-negotiated deals in the construction and manufacturing sectors, according to the Department of Employment.
Private sector enterprise agreements approved in the September quarter paid an average wage rise of 3.4% a year, after construction deals providing substantial annual increases helped to lifted bargained wage deals out of the doldrums, new Department of Employment data reveals.
Responsibility for gender equity strategies should be partially devolved from centralised HR departments to line managers, and training to combat "unconscious bias" in selection processes should be mandated for supervisors and managers, according to a new report on barriers to women's career advancement in higher education.