Australian Commonwealth Governments’ Work choices Legislation

Australian Commonwealth Governments’ Work choices Legislation

           The current Australian government legislation depicts a high change from the prior state of employees at their work. In the past workplace legislation was full of high hardships and difficulties. Such legislation is what can be attributed to the current state of employees at their work. Due to the undesirable and poor working conditions that existed in the past, the common wealth countries adopted work choices legislation that focused on the review of the indecent past working environment. Amongst them was the Australia.

            Due to its diversity and richness to culture, demographic statistics and expanded commercial and governmental horizons, the Australian government revised the statutes regulating workforce at their work in order to commensurate with more human adaptable conditions. However, this change got different perceptions from different groups of people. The establishment of new legislations was as a result of the declining conditions of work for its people and after the common wealth governments beckoning on their labour force. To Australia, this act was a reform of the long billed relations in the industrial sector whose age was beyond a century. All through, workplace conditions were terrible and therefore importance was attached to a change to the situation. Before the reform, industrial system relations in Australia comprised of highly undesirable working conditions which was seen to highly exploit human labour force. (Brisce, Schuler, 2004 p.56)

            Since its enactment in 1993 the legislation had been of a great intent to the conditions of employees at their workplace. Many were impressed and given more motivations at their work. However the long employee friendly act was then revised in 2006 only to bring inconsistency at workplaces at demoralization to the workers. It revision the act has then changes the prior governments motive for its workers. The effect of these changes in the prior governments act drew varied interpretation from different groups where some supported it as others opposed it. To its development is gained support widely from parties like, Business Council of Australia (BCA) and also from Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). However, the better fraction of its population did not support it under their argument that its restrictive laws worked even to de-humanize the current existing workplace conditions. The opposers were mainly followers of the Australian Labor Movement. However, with the ruling of the National Coalition in the general election in 2004, came the amendment of the then existing regulations of the act to include more friendly statues which led to the act even more acceptable to the citizens. (Kraut, Korman, 1999, p.76)

            The legislation primarily comprised of changes in the work choices which were to be governed by a number of legislations. Such regulations were to foster an improvement in the state of the industrial relations in the Australian corporations which could give an improved relation between the employers and employees. (Kelly,2001,p.98,  )

            In its regulatory formalities, the act introduced an industrial system with a nation wide coverage that replaced the distinct and separate legal corporations with different corporate constitutions. The main aim was to ensure uniformity in all the work force regulations across the nation and that individual corporate authorities could be under weighed. This was in a close investigation of the diverse difficult work place conditions at different corporations that led to high sufferings to the workers. With such a uniform industrial system, these led to an equal addressing by the board to the industrial workers at a common national point. With this, the workers had a higher bargaining power that could even lead to a higher vote to their needs by the industries. This led to a better workplaces with marginalized corporate constitutions been under the jurisdiction of the new state industrial system development. (Albinski, 1997, p.106 Dickson, 1999, p132)

            With the development in workplace legislation in Australia, the labour force gained a higher developed labour force condition in the state. Workplace regulations were revised and modified to include within them, higher standards in regard to person’s job satisfaction and the related benefits that accrue to this parameter. (Stevens, Reeve, 2001, p27)

            In its vital amendments when it entered the government, the Australian Liberal Party introduced a Bill in to its House in 2005, through Kevin Andrews who was the Employment and Workplace Relation Minister. Introduction of this Bill was its anti-campaign against the then prevailing Bill of the former government. However it was voted in and some practical statutes in it like the Australian fair pay commission and the call for wages to those who were schooling trainees became effective immediately. However, the full article on workplace Relation Act of 1996 was enacted and become into operation in March 27th of 2006. (Morwood, Hobbs, 2003, p.60)

            However, with the enactment of the bill many opposed it under the argument that it was aimed at disadvantaging many of the workers in Australia. The opposition was through the manifesto, “Your Rights at work”. This was a debate by Australia Council of Trade Unions. This movement was an opposition to the changes that were made to the original Act by the incoming government (Australian Liberal Party Government). (Wanna, Ryan, p.184)

            In its development, Australian government workplace legislation changes, have greatly led to an improvement in the past way of employees nature at their work. Employees have now experienced better working conditions. In its bill different laws relating to employees at their work were enacted in 1993. However, many of the favorable laws have faced a challenge since the revised bill in 2005

            Firstly, the bill was on a change in the laws protecting the dismissal of certain industrial employees. This had been developed by the former government which protected the rights of employees in dissimisal from their work. In the introduction of the Act in 1993, by the ruling government, protection on dismissal of employees was granted to all the employees in Australia. Such protections were geared towards any unfair form of dismissals by their employers. In the then existing 1993 act this was a uniform statute that protected all the workers irrespective of the size of the industry. With this protection workers could not easily be dismissed and any dismissal amounted to legal Protections through compensation and other awards.  (Mann, 1992, p46)

          However with the new government, some employees were no longer protected to the dismissal law.  Such were, those employed by the business within workers of 100 or less.  With this new development, such employees were under no legal protection of any dismissal and therefore their employees could dismiss them without regard to any legal consequence.  This was since then, the undermining of the right of these workers where they could now be sacked without any threat to their employers. (Thompson, 1994 p21) Such condition has even led to poor working conditions and low job satisfaction in medium sized firms employing 100 or less workers.  However the protection to employees of large firms was still binding except when dismissed on personal operational grounds.  This discrimination between the employees of varied sized companies was a source of injustice where employees from different sized firms were protected differently in regard to the dismissal firm work. (Suneja, 2000, p.67, Smith, 2004, p64)

            Perhaps the biggest change in the work place act was the formation of a uniform national corporation system that functioned to formulate a constitution to govern the entire corporation in the Australia federal system.  With this national constitutional system all the corporations were to be governed by the modalities of the same national constitution, which would be uniformly applicable to all.  However in the previous government, all the States in Australia were mandated to constitute their own personal laws relating to the operational system in these states.  (Kay, 1995 p.65, Kettl, 2002, p.56)

         This was in the view and understanding of the difference in the cultural, economic and environment parameters that compromised a difference in the business undertaking in these environments.  Due to the varied nature of environments therefore it called for different state constitutions or even corporate governance rules that would be applicable within a particular corporation to itself. This would imply a difference in the corporate governance to secure a worth of corporate achievement of its goals. However, with the changes to the original act, there was the formation of a national federal system constitution that governed the corporations at the national level. (Gibert, 1993, p.56, Greg, 1997, p.63)

          With this change therefore, corporations changed the administrative governance to fulfill the requirements of the uniform constitutional reforms in Australia. Such uniformity were however not adaptable to some of the state corporations whose constitution were structured in line and adaptation to specific business environment and production. This was perhaps the biggest draw back to these countries where most of them were forced to run to closure due to these stringed and inadaptable conditions. Such a problem did not only affect the corporations’ state of affairs solely, but it had even other implications to the state economy and the work force as a whole. (Balabanis, George, 2001, p.34)

            The work place Act of 1993, constituted the “No Disadvantage Test”. This act was established so that, the employees were never faced with a disadvantage in regard to any proposal of an agreement. This clause worked to investigate any authenticity of agreements which were entered into between the employees and their employers to ensure that, employees were never exploited by their employers in the workplace agreement which could only benefit the employees.(Bileski, 2002, p90, Cohen, William, p.63)

            However, this clause received a drawback in the then no change of the original act in 2005, were the then no disadvantage test was removed. Such removal implied that any agreement went in between the employers and an employee was binding to its terms and the employees were not legally defended by any negative consequences that were born by such agreement. The workers could then bear such disadvantage on their own. With this change, the optimality condition was compromised and many employees left worse off as the benefit of the employees. This acted as a detriment to the status improvement of the market. (Drejer, Anders, 2002, Emily, Ian, 20002 p.70)

            The workplace act voted for certified agreements in which all the agreements that pertained an employee obligations and his relative entitlement were done by the employer and his employee or employees trade unions. Such agreements were then to be certified by Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC). This was a break in the norms of the past where such agreement were entered into by the employer and the employee only and never had to certified by any other human rights activities body. (Thoman, 1998, p.46 Veronicah, Philip, 1999, p23))

       With this development, employees were more vulnerable to better agreement than the past since some better terms of  service were included than the few that were only instilled through a command in the past by the employers. This was therefore a radical change to the state of employment to the employees. However, this clause got a draw back in the 2005 amendments, where such agreements were now faced with a streamline process only to agree at the level of work place authority. The employees therefore had a diminishing power to elevate contractual agreement between them and the employers. Hereby, the workplace authority could now monitor any work place contractual agreement, where it could set such agreement in regard to it own requirements. (Long, 1996, p.35)

            In the view of the inequalities the employees faced in the work places, the Labour Government which was ruled by Paul Keating then chose to formulate the 1993 Work choices Act. In its development, the Act was to ensure an improved condition to the employees at their work places. (Richard, Palmin, 1997, p.44)


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