Australian Industrial Relations Reform

There are lots of changes on the cards with the new IR reforms that the current government in Australia are proposing. These changes are becoming one of the most hotly debated issues (free sub req) for a while and seem to be impacting the Government’s standings in the polls (free sub req). The changes a fairly broad and include the possibility to pay out annual leave. The ABC News Online has a story today about the changes with the ACTU claiming that the move is a slippery slope that should be avoided. The last quote from Sharan Burrows I find very interesting:-

“I cannot believe that we would seriously look at the American standard of two weeks when anybody knows that without annual leave, without weekends, family time is simply smashed,” she said.

“It seems incredible that in the face of all of the accepted knowledge about work and family pressures, that a government would even consider allowing the employers to effectively provide a two week break only for just a miniscule increase in take home pay.”

While I agree moves like these can lead to other changes over time, providing employees the flexibility for the different benefit packages based on their requirements is actually a positive move. Work life balance is not a singular aspect and one size does not always fit all.