Sparking a fresh debate on the future of Australia’s workplace regulation, Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA has released its most future-focused report in two decades.

The report, A New Horizon: Guiding Principles for the Future of Work, highlights the way forward for Australian workplaces.

Through less regulation, fewer restrictions, de-centralising workplace relations power away from third parties, and policymakers resisting the push for intervention and protectionism, the report details the need for a fundamentally new approach to regulating work in Australia.

It explores how technology, demographic and competitive factors are influencing the future of work in the resources and energy industry.

Based on a wide-ranging survey of AMMA members and guided by the AMMA Board Reference Group, the report seeks to provide greater purpose around future of work discussions and puts forward a holistic vision for future workplace regulation.

As the final project in the AMMA Centenary Year campaign, it will support and guide much of the group’s IR advocacy priorities in 2019 and beyond.

It puts forward 12 principles to guide future policy making, aligned to AMMA members’ vision for a fundamentally new approach to regulating work in Australia.

“With significant change taking place in their workplaces, AMMA members have long called for a future-focused vision for work,” AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott says in the report’s foreword.

“Rapid advancements in technology are creating more diverse employment arrangements and demanding higher levels of technical skills and education. There is less homogeny in the workforce, demographics are shifting and new generations of digitally-enabled employees are more individually engaged and self-motivated.

“Based on these trends, we have set out guiding principles for a new horizon of work in our nation, one that better supports the competitiveness of our industries and businesses, and better aligns to the increasingly individualised motivations and work patterns of future workforces.”

Some of the principles outlined in the report include:

  • Future of work regulation must move beyond outdated assumptions about workplaces and employer/employee relationships.
  • The regulatory framework should align with the trend toward greater individual motivation and direct engagement in the workplace.
  • Australia should adopt a multi-tiered approach to work regulation that would free employers and employees in high-income areas from unnecessary regulatory burden.
  • Open and flexible regulatory models will be critical to unlocking the opportunities created by the future of work.

“AMMA and our members release this vision at a critical crossroad for Australia,” Mr Knott continues.

“More than at any other time, debate about the changing workplace is having a polarising effect. There are significant forces misconstruing change as a threat and exploiting fear and uncertainty around the future of work for political gain.

“Through this new report, AMMA calls on those with an interest in ensuring Australia remains an attractive place to invest and work, to seize the opportunity to create a new system of regulation fit for a prosperous, productive and competitive future.”

A New Horizon is dedicated to all the valued members across AMMA’s 100 year history. Particular gratitude is extended to the member representatives who contributed to this project, including the AMMA Board Reference Group.

Read the report here.