How Australia regulates work impacts on job opportunities, living standards and what we can achieve as a society. Our workplace relations laws underpin the pay and conditions of more than 10 million Australians, and determine the competitiveness of our communities as places to take risks, do business and create jobs, especially for our young people.

Our Policy Principles:

Greater flexibility in work, making our workplaces more productive and competitive and giving more Australians opportunities to work.

Decentralise decision making to employers and employees.

Empower employers and employees to agree on the organisation of work.

Less complex workplace regulation that is more comprehensible to both employers and employees.

Workplace regulation that works for small business people and those who work for them.

The Australian Chamber network connects our members, and hundreds of thousands of individual businesses throughout Australia, to the world through our membership of the world’s leading business organisations and international networks. This includes substantial engagement and influence on international workplace relations standards and trends that impact on doing business and employing both in Australia and internationally.

Fair Work Laws

Australia’s workplace relations framework must become a truly decentralised system of collective and individual agreements underpinned by a simple safety net of minimum standards.

A genuinely fair workplace relations system must be pro-employment, small-business friendly, responsive to changing domestic and international conditions and receptive to the needs of the unemployed and underemployed.

Our Policy Objectives:

Employers and employees working together.

More jobs and lower unemployment, particularly for young Australians.

Higher earnings and increased living standards.

Productive, competitive, profitable and sustainable businesses.

Balance between work, incomes, family and lifestyle.


The Workplace Relations Framework should complete the evolution from the centralised system of compulsory conciliation and arbitration of the past and become a truly decentralised system of collective and individual bargaining underpinned by a genuine safety net of simple, legislated minimum standards.

Only industry base rates of pay should be retained in awards as part of a modernised safety net, with parties able to adopt additional terms and conditions of employment by agreement.

Our Policy Objectives:

Rules that facilitate the efficient structuring of working arrangements at the workplace level.

Conditions that balance employee protection and the need to increase employment opportunities.

Simplified obligations that are easy to follow.

Gradual reduction of compulsory content that ultimately leaves only industry base rates of pay as part of a simplified legislated safety net.


Freedom to contract is a fundamental pillar of Australia’s economy and society. Australians genuinely and freely entering into contracts for the provision of their services should not have those arrangements interfered with by persons or bodies (including governments, regulators, tribunals or courts) who are not parties to those contracts.

Our Policy Objectives:

Regulation that delivers the broadest possible range of options to participate in work and accommodates increasingly diverse needs and preferences.

Effective recognition of rights to engage in contracting and labour hire.

Freedom of choice in how individuals and businesses structure their relationships.

No unwarranted external interference in lawfully contracted relationships.


Employer superannuation obligations should be standardised and simplified. Regulation and penalties should be more equitable and appropriate to contemporary transactional processes and practices.

Our Policy Objectives:

Superannuation legislation that supports and facilitates timely contributions and minimises or rectifies member losses when contributions are delayed or misallocated.

Standardised rules, data and payment requirements and processes and corrections procedures.

Standardised reporting and records requirements.

More consistent and simpler choice obligations.

Removal of contributions and default fund obligations from awards.


Australian employers actively support workplace diversity, and businesses of all sizes are successfully harnessing the talents of Australia’s increasingly diverse labour force. There is no place for unlawful discrimination in our workplaces and all Australians should be able to seek work, and be employed free from discrimination, prejudice or harassment.

Our Policy Objectives:

Emphasis on promotion, education and problem-solving rather than prosecution.

Clearly expressed anti-discrimination laws that support and encourage compliance.

Reduced regulatory overlap between anti-discrimination laws and jurisdictions.

Protection of employers from ‘double jeopardy’ and forum shopping.

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