20 October 2012Fair Work agencies collaborate on productivity Memorandum of Understanding

Fair Work Australia, Fair Work Building & Construction and the Fair Work Ombudsman have formalised their commitment to work together on the issue of productivity by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The initiative is a response to recommendations from the recent review of the Fair Work legislation and demonstrates the Fair Work agencies’ commitment to joint implementation of its findings.

The memorandum will draw on the strengths of each agency to deliver relevant and cost-effective regulatory services to the Australian community, as well as minimise any overlap between the Fair Work institutions.

Fair Work Australia will principally focus on providing assistance and advice via its Major Projects Panel in relation to large infrastructure projects and by engaging with large employers, registered organisations and peak bodies. Activities will include encouraging better workplace relations and facilitating discussions at the workplace and industry level on major issues affecting productivity and competitiveness.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will continue its focus on providing education, assistance and advice in relation to rights and obligations under the national workplace relations system, with particular expertise in relation to small and medium enterprises.

Fair Work Building & Construction will similarly focus on providing education, advice and assistance and engaging with employers, employees and contractors in the building and construction industry.

A key component of the MoU will involve each agency identifying best practice productivity measures and promoting their adoption by employers and unions. This may involve encouraging the development and adoption of model workplace provisions in agreements to enhance productivity.

Another key area of focus is the promotion of advanced leadership, culture and management practices that support more innovative and productive workplaces.

The agreement responds to and recognises the important policy debate in the Industrial Relations community about productivity. Each of the Fair Work Institutions will work with employers, unions and each other to encourage more productive Australian workplaces.