Thursday, June 19, 2008

IR's Rearward Drive

Julia Bishop is to be applauded for seeking a guarantee from the Prime Minister that under Labor’s proposed 10 minimum standards no worker will be worse off. Though it was hardly surprising that Kevin Rudd, refused to offer such a guarantee.

Known as, the 10 National Employment standards (NES) they form part of the Governments new IR system due by, Jan 1, 2010.

Pity the selling of WorkChoices was mismanaged. Aside from the political fallout that followed, John Howard’s IR concept was correct, it allowed employers to reward the best and brightest over and above the mediocrity. I never noted anything unfair about this, on the contrary its smart and if we are going to be a “smart country”, it’s the best and brightest and those willing to put in the hard yards to attain such, that need to be cultivated in our workplaces. WorkChoices empowered the individual, enabling one to negotiate a remuneration and benefits package commensurate with ability.

One could not help but notice how often the term “reasonable” and “unreasonable” appeared in the wording of NES. Need we say more … expect many a legal challenge when the boss refuses a union defined, “reasonable” request. As Ms. Bishop correctly pointed out, "Businesses will have to engage a lawyer to help them work out what is reasonable or unreasonable in dozens of circumstances."

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