Government action to combat corrupting payments between employers and unions will strengthen the integrity of Australia’s workplace relations system and ensure proper separation of the commercial affairs of employee representatives and employers, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today.
James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber, said: “The business community welcomes the Government’s actions on corrupting payments, which follows a strong recommendation on the issue from the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
“The Government is right to seek to criminalise payments or other benefits passed between employers and unions that could have a corrupting influence. The Royal Commission found widespread misconduct by union officials, so we need to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations to improve governance.
“Given clear evidence that a minority of union officials have acted to advantage themselves over their members, changes to the law need to be made to enhance the responsibility of union officials and employers.
“Financial misconduct and the misappropriation of union funds by union officials must be addressed.
“We applaud Prime Minister Turnbull and Employment Minister Cash for continuing to take steps on important workplace relations reform.
“We look forward to seeing the detail on the Government’s proposal, and urge all parties to take a constructive approach on this important issue.”