Highly-paid miners to opt out of Workplace Relations, says bosses


Miners and other resource sector workers earning more than $142,000 a year should be able to waive their rights in the workplace relations system including the right to ever strike in return for more “flexible” employment terms, according to a new report.

The report authored by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) was based on interviews with more than 100 resources executives and senior managers about their experiences with the current workplace relations system what’s needed to support innovation and growth into the future.

94 per cent of the bosses surveyed thought that workers should be free to “opt out” of collective bargaining at any time. The report says Australia should adopt a “multi-tiered approach to work regulation that would free employers and employees in high-income areas from unnecessary regulatory burden”.

In comments obtained via The Australian, AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said the view among employers was that “despite engaging highly skilled individuals on excellent conditions, two or three times the Australian ­median wage, the system just does not allow for businesses operating in global competitive markets to remove exposure to strike risk and often unmeritorious general protections claims”.

He said removing employee protections from the federal system would not mean workers lost protection from discrimination and bullying as these were covered by state laws.

“Applying a complex web of protections intended for vulnerable employees to those in the highest percentile of the labour market only creates inefficiencies, regulatory burden and productivity costs,’’ he said.

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