Late last year, auspiciously on the day after the Federal Government announced its innovation nation initiatives, foundU attended the AFR Workforce and Productivity Summit.
A roundtable session posed some key questions:
What is required for businesses to be competitive in the modern globalised economy?
The participants agreed technology and innovation in the workplace was the key to improving Australia’s competitiveness. All companies must embrace new technology. Resistance to change and an ability to keep pace with technological developments were identified as barriers.
One statistic we loved was that it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. Angry Birds 4 got there in just 35 days!!
Do current workplace regulations reflect the realities of the modern working world?
The new work paradigm was discussed. Weekend work, 24 hour services, globalisation and email did not exist when the current industrial relations framework was established. A passionate discussion demonstrated how polarising these issues are. Changes to penalty rates and other restrictive employment laws are going to be hard fought.
Our own research confirms that flexible working arrangements are coveted by employees and employers alike. Simple changes to workplace regulations would promote personal and productivity benefits.
What is required to protect the welfare and living standards of workers in this new world of innovation?
The participants all agreed that employment practices needed to ensure acceptable employee safety nets in terms of minimum pay and hours worked.
Ged Kearney (ACTU President) emphasised that the financial welfare of employees should take precedence to all other considerations. Kate Carnell (CEO ACCI) suggested it was time to re-visit employment practices and to embrace platforms that facilitated productivity in the modern working world. On the one hand Ms Kearney is firmly against any legislated diminution of employee minimum entitlements and on the other Ms Carnell believes some legacy issues going to entitlements deserve to be revisited.
Let’s hope our legislators can diplomatically reconcile these competing views and deliver new world friendly, flexible workplace regulations.
As hope springs eternal we should look for our own solutions. The foundU SaaS offering provides the flexibility demanded by all sides of the modern working world. Our platform ensures that no employee is paid below minimum standards and provides employers with efficiencies that boost productivity and profitability.