AIER Newsletter – 25 October 2012
Australian Institute of Employment Rights Inc. – News

AIER welcomes new Centre for Workplace Leadership

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, last week announced the formation of a new Centre for Workplace Leadership.

AIER welcomes this development which is in line with policies, submissions and recommendations of the AIER in the recent past. Announcing the formation of the Centre, the Minister said:

“The recent independent review of the Fair Work Act found no evidence that our workplace relations laws impede productivity growth. Instead, there is a substantial and growing body of evidence that shows that leadership, workplace culture and management practices have a significant impact on workplace performance, productivity, profitability and innovation.  It also shows that good leadership which empowers employees delivers greater job satisfaction, productivity and motivation.” [emphasis added].

The AIER strongly supports efforts to improve workplace culture, including through improved leadership and management, but also through the promotion of rights for employees and employers and the re-establishment of genuine tripartism in Australian workplaces.

In its submission to the Fair Work Act Review panel, AIER said:

“The AIER believes that greater effort needs to be put to rebuilding an environment of genuine tripartism. AIER has previously called for support for a Centre for Workplace Citizenship. We renew our call for this initiative via this submission.”

AIER looks forward to working closely with the new Centre, when it is established, on improving the quality of the culture in Australia’s workplaces for the benefit of all.

While narrower in focus than the AIER’s proposed Centre for Workplace Citizenship, a Centre with an emphasis on workplace leadership which focuses on improving workplace culture in its broadest application will be very important to the future of Australian enterprises, their employees and to Australian society as a whole.

Appropriate values are at the heart of any approach to improving workplaces including joint efforts to improve health and safety, eliminating poor workplace experiences like bullying, encouraging decent work for all and ultimately to improving enterprise and economy wide productivity.

Values must be supported by a clear understanding of and implementation of employee and employer rights and responsibilities. Elimination of rights does not improve workplace culture or outcomes, it has a tendency to foster ineffective management practices including the resort to command/control and intimation models.   The AIER believes the Australian Charter of Employment Rights will be a seminal tool that Centre for Workplace Leadership can draw upon in its work.

AIER welcomes the focus of the new Centre on a range of related issues but in particular its proposed work to:

“lead the public debate on the importance of good leadership, workplace culture and people management and on the interdependencies between high performing and productive workplaces, effective management practices and quality jobs; ..”

These issues are at the heart of the task of improving workplace experiences and boosting our future capacity.  They have been at the centre of AIER’s work since it’s establishment in 2005.

Lisa Heap, Executive Director, AIER.

For more information about this new initiative see the announcement of Minister Shorten.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Institute of Employment Rights Inc., All rights reserved.