The Government's Fair Pay Agreement Working Group has released a report, with recommendations on a system for sector-wide collective bargaining.
The report says the Group was asked to make independent recommendations on the scope and design of a system of sector or occupation wide bargaining to set minimum terms and conditions of employment and achieve these goals.
It says the Group considered that introducing a sector or occupational level bargaining system could be most useful in sectors or occupations where particular issues with competitive outcomes are identified, for example, where competition is based on ever-decreasing labour costs rather than on increasing quality or productivity.
"It could be useful more generally where workers and employers identify opportunity to improve outcomes across a sector or occupation. We also considered that this may not be a necessary or useful tool in some sectors or occupations.
"We have therefore designed a system where workers can initiate sector- or occupation-wide collective bargaining, if they meet a representativeness threshold or a public interest test."
The Working Group gave its recommendations to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety in December 2018. The minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, says the Government will take time to consider the recommendations.
"The next phase of work will require detailed policy consideration and consultation and we'll take the time to get it right," he says.