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News News Push to make workplace laws simpler
THE Federal Government has called in an expert to try to reverse the trend for industrial relations legislation to grow ever longer and more complex.

A University of Adelaide law professor, Andrew Stewart, has been asked to advise the Department of Workplace Relations on the "architecture" of the planned new Workplace Relations Act.

Professor Stewart has criticised former Coalition and Labor governments for allowing the industrial legislation to rival the income tax laws for complexity.

He said he hoped the Government would significantly streamline the act, which had mushroomed from 230 pages in 1983 to 1531 pages.

"The objective should be to simplify the laws and put them in a shape where the average manager and employee can pick up the legislation and understand it without having to consult a lawyer," Professor Stewart said.

He identified three approaches that could help with this: the Government needed to stop "micro-regulating industrial relations"; it needed to give the relevant agencies and courts discretion to administer the laws; and to make sure users of the legislation could understand it.

He said the Government's new national employment standards were a sign that it was taking the simplification agenda seriously.


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