Work Choices vs Fair Work
The Workplace Relations and Other Amendments (Work Choices) Act 2005 was implemented from March 2006 to March 2008 and was considered to be the closest national system of workplace relations during that time. This covered 85% of the Australia employees however with the amendments made to this act, the Fair Work Act began to cover all employers and their employees. Additionally, there numerous other differences between the Work Choices Act 2005 and the Fair Work Act 2009 which are considered to be fairer and more just. I will be covering the main differences between these the Fair Work Act 2009 and its predecessor, focusing on how these differences affect the employers and employees directly. Lastly, I will evaluate how these employment relations have impacted my workplace and whether I perceive the workplace as a fairer workplace since the implementation of Fair Work Act 2009.
Coverage of Private Non-corporate employees
One of the biggest changes that Fair Work Act 2009 had over the Workplace Relations and Other Amendments (Work Choices) Act 2005 was the coverage of the Act across the nation. From 2006 to 2009 only the non-corporate employees of Victoria were covered by the Work Choices Act, which was unfair to the rest of the Australia. The employees of all the other states in Australia were still governed by the state industrial legislation which was considered less effective. The implementation of the Fair Work Act 2009 led to Australia’s first uniform, national industrial relations system which covered all employees of each state and territory, according to (Barnes & Lafferty, 2010).
Minimum Legislative Standards
This is another significant change which is considered to create a fairer industrial relations system as it impacts the employees’ pay and condition standards directly. The Work Choice Act 2005 introduced only 5 areas of fair pay and conditions standard, which covered wages, maximum ordinary hours of work, annual leave, personal leave and parental leave, (ComLaw, 2005). Fair Trading felt as though there were many areas which were not covered in the Work Choice Act 2005 and this lead to unfair treatment to the employees. The Fair Work Act 2009 introduced a total of 10 national employment standards which covered a lot of entitlements for the employees, resulting in a much fairer treatment from employers, (ComLaw, 2009).
The role of the awards was diluted and digressed from the main purpose and central role of the Australian workplace relations system. The Work Choices Act 2005 reduced the amount of Federal Award Matters from 20 to 15. The central role of the awards was restored when the Fair Work Act 2009 was implemented. Furthermore, the Federal allowable award matters were reduced even further from 15 to only 10 award matters. Modern rewards also include flexibility clause which created a sense of flexibility between the employers and employees specific arrangements. Therefore, if there were arrangements which could satisfy both the employer’s and employee’s needs than it could be done under the flexibility clause. These were known as individual flexibility arrangements and were very effective. To ensure that the modern awards did not impact the employees’ minimum wage, all employers were not permitted to pay their employees less than they did prior to the implementation of the new modern awards.
One of the most significant improvements to the Fair Work Act which made it much fairer was the collective nature rather than the individual bargaining. With the introduction of the Fair Work Act, any new Australian Workplace Agreements and Individual Transitional Employee Agreements can no longer be made, (Creighton, 2011).......
Under the Work Choices Act there were six types of agreements however under the Fair Work Act 2009, there are now only four types of agreements which are:
One of the most common issues in workplace relations is when employees feel that they are dismissed unfairly. Therefore in order to improve the fairness of the Fair Work Act 2009 enables employees to lodge unfair dismissal claims if they believe that they were dismissed unlawfully or unfairly, (Chapman, 2009).
According to Fair Work Act of 2009, an employee is able to file for a unfair dismissal claim if the he or she has been employed for more than 12 months, covered by an award or agreement and earns less than the high income threshold which at the moment is $108,300 a year. This must be done within 14 days of being dismissed unfairly. If the claim is successful then he or she is either reinstated by the employer or compensated up to a maximum of the lesser of 26 weeks’ pay or $54,150.
There are many similarities in this area, between the Work Choices Act and Fair Work Act, however there are still some improvements which have made the Employment relations fairer and more reasonable for both employers and employees. one of the main differences is the abolishment of the bargaining period, according to (Forsyth & Stewart (Eds.), 2009).
Right of entry
The Work Choices Act implemented several restrictions…...
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