Outlook for Outcome 2

  • Australia will engage with the International Labour Organization’s seven 2019 Centenary Initiatives, including the Future of Work and Women at Work. These are being developed with employer and worker representatives to help drive the organisation’s social justice mandate and decent work agenda into its second century.
  • The department will continue to lead regular reviews of the skilled migration occupation lists, including labour market analysis and stakeholder engagement. This ensures that Australia’s skilled visa programs support jobs by contributing to the workforce needs of industry.
  • The department provides labour market and workplace relations advice to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Home Affairs. This includes on labour mobility options to support foreign policy and development assistance objectives.
  • The department will continue to monitor small business conditions and focus its future policy development on improvements to the business-operating environment that facilitates small business growth. This includes reducing red tape and supporting small businesses to engage with the digital economy.
  • Work will continue to identify future developments in workplace relations, work health and safety and workers’ compensation, including assisting the Government on further areas for reform.
  • The department will continue to work closely with Commonwealth agencies and states and territories to build an effective and coordinated national approach to managing asbestos across the supply chain. The department is working with other agencies to progress a number of regulatory changes that support a nationally coordinated and consistent approach.
  • Sexual harassment in Australia is dealt with under anti-discrimination laws, and is also a serious work health and safety issue. This is because employers have a duty of care under WHS laws to ensure workers are not exposed to harassment in the workplace, and because the focus of laws is to promote a proactive and preventative approach to risks arising in the workplace.
  • The future of work and work health and safety is central to how Australia will meet the challenges of increasing workforce participation—and facilitate jobs growth—through policies that promote fair, productive, flexible and safe workplaces. Work is continuing to support the national approach to work health and safety regulation, and to ensure work health and safety policies and frameworks meet the needs of our evolving workplaces.
  • The Federal Safety Commissioner is promoting the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme to help more businesses gain and maintain the safety standards required for accreditation. Industry roadshows will help promote the scheme and the value of accreditation in delivering safety improvements, and also help build stronger engagement with building industry stakeholders. Focus will also be given to strengthening state and territory regulator and agency relationships to facilitate information sharing arrangements, referrals and collaboration.
  • The department will provide financial assistance to redundant workers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, and engage stakeholders on implementing legislative reforms to address corporate misuse of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee.
  • Recovery actions under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program are being progressed. These aim to increase the amount available for distribution following the liquidation of employers, and reduce the overall cost of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee.