Work choices wasn’t all bad
The primary aim of the controversial amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, known as Work Choices, was to individualise employment relations. It only operated for 14 months and dispensed with unfair dismissal laws for companies with 100 employees and under.
Full-time employment grew close to 5% and unemployment fell from 4.9 per cent to 4.3 per cent while the rate of workforce participation rose 0.7 percentage points. Wages also increased by 5% per cent over the period, contradicting the predictions of union leaders that employers would drive down wages.
Judith Sloan from ‘The Australian’ looks at the pros and cons of Work Choices in opinion article as she believes there are lessons in the Work Choices experiment for the Abbott government as it formulates new public policies.
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