Don’t blame productivity slowdown on Fair Work Act: Shorten

Productivity growth over the past decade has been “disappointing”, but cannot be blamed on the Fair Work Act, according to a review of the industrial relations regime released today.

“This is a good report,” Workplace Minister Bill Shorten said in a press conference today. “I’m heartened that the conclusion is that our Fair Work laws are working, and working well.”

In a rebuttal to business leaders who have in recent months called for changes to the laws, Shorten said the review found the industrial relations framework had no negative impact on productivity.

The minister stressed that workplace productivity can be found primarily at an enterprise level.

“I’ve certainly had the view that for some people in our society who assert the challenges of productivity can be wished away by changing external regulation fail to grasp where the greatest benefits and gains in productivity can be found, which is at an enterprise level.”

Wading further into the productivity debate, Shorten said labour productivity had been rising for the past year, citing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“In the March quarter 2012… output per hour per worker in the market sector increased 1.2%. That’s 3.9% over the year.”

The full review can be read here.

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