The re-election of the Morrison Coalition Government has preserved the features of the current industrial relations system, but left unanswered questions over its workplace agenda for the next three years.
The composition and role of the Fair Work Commission "must be re-examined" due to Coalition governments appointing 20 consecutive members from an employer background, according to an internal ACTU report.
The FWC has approved a Melbourne fire brigade agreement after it accepted undertakings that override terms that hindered workers going part-time and allowed their union to block flexible working arrangements, while a challenge is still on foot to an earlier finding that discriminatory deals can still get up.
There is an overwhelming case for change to the Fair Work Act, but neither a Shorten Labor Government nor a returned Coalition administration are likely to undertake fundamental reform, according to Adelaide University Professor of Law, Andrew Stewart.
A federal Labor government would establish a single Whistleblowing Act and protection authority to ensure "companies are held to the same standard as unions", according to the ALP, but IR Minister Kelly O'Dwyer says its planned reward scheme could benefit those involved in misconduct.
Just months after employers called on the Coalition to consider installing seven new FWC members, pointedly highlighting the number of ALP appointees, the Morrison Government has announced five new deputy presidents and a commissioner, many with strong links to the business sector.
The FWC will no longer be required to conduct four-yearly reviews of modern awards, while being given powers to approve enterprise agreements despite minor procedural or technical errors, under long-delayed legislation passed by the Federal Parliament last night.