Fair Work Act working as enterprise bargaining surges to record levels
- Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
A report released today shows federal enterprise bargaining under theFair Work Act 2009has recorded the largest ever number of current agreements in the federal system and the highest ever level of employee coverage.
TheTrends in Federal Enterprise Bargainingreport for the December 2010 quarter shows the number of current enterprise agreements continued to rise, growing to 25 226 and covering almost 2.6 million Australian employees.
Minister for Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, said the figures showed that agreement making under the modern workplace relations system is working well.
“This is the largest ever number of enterprise agreements at any one time covering the biggest number of Australian employees,” Senator Evans said.
“This is a clear demonstration that the federal workplace relations system of agreement making is meeting its objective to balance the needs of employees and employers without taking away basic rights and guaranteed minimum standards.”
The report also shows that there were a record 24 560 current agreements in the private sector covering over 1.9 million private sector employees, with the Construction, Manufacturing and Retail industries accounting for more than half of the current agreements.
Average annualised wage increases delivered by enterprise agreements approved in the December quarter moderated to 3.8 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent in the previous quarter. This moderation in wages growth was evident in both the private and public sectors with both experiencing a quarterly annualised wage increase of 3.8 per cent, down from 4.1 and 4.7 per cent respectively.
Additionally, in the private sector, wages growth was variable during the December quarter 2010, ranging from 5.0 per cent for industries like construction to 3.3 per cent for industries like retail.
“This demonstrates that the Fair Work enterprise bargaining system is flexible, linking wage outcomes to industry circumstances,” Senator Evans said.
“All data shows our industrial system is working well with low unemployment, contained wage growth, low levels of industrial disputations and record levels of agreement making.
“Overwhelmingly employers and employees are getting on with the business of bargaining under theFair Work Act. More than 9 300 new agreements covering over almost 1.3 million employees have been made since the commencement of the Fair Work system till the end of December.”
The report will is available at: