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    Business group reveals desire to scrap awards
    AAP News
    18:31:020 15/02/2005
    SYDNEY, Feb 15 AAP - Workplace awards would be abolished and
    replaced by a single statutory system and state industrial
    relations frameworks would be scrapped under an action plan
    designed by Australia's peak business group.
    The Business Council of Australia (BCA) today said its proposed
    industrial changes would underpin economic growth, employment
    opportunities and rising prosperity.
    But the plan has been condemned by unions who claim it will mean
    poor people remain poor.
    According to the BCA, the changes focus on greater flexibility
    and choice for employees and employers in making workplace
    agreements, simplifying workplace relations regulation, and
    removing barriers to job creation.
    The changes were intended to simplify awards by reducing the
    content and number of awards, and eventually moving to a single set
    of statutory conditions to replace the award system, the group
    said.
    The plan would also improve the flexibility of agreement making
    including through streamlined filing and approval processes and the
    application of a simpler no-disadvantage test.
    A national single system of workplace relations would be
    developed to remove duplication between state and federal systems,
    according to the business group.
    BCA employment and participation task force chairman Michael
    Chaney said the changes proposed by the group continued the
    direction of workplace reform undertaken over the past 20 years.
    "This package of changes proposed by the BCA is designed to help
    achieve a bigger and more productive economy through sustaining
    high levels of employment, people working to their potential and
    being rewarded for effort and capability," Mr Chaney said.
    But Unions NSW secretary John Robertson said big business was
    trying to re-define one of the foundation stones of Australian
    society.
    "At the end of the day, the BCA agenda is an agenda for more
    contract work, longer working hours and less security for
    Australian families," Mr Robertson said.
    AAP smb/
 
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