Essential Report

Industrial Relations Laws

Sep 23, 2014

Q. Business groups have said that Australia’s industrial relations laws favour workers and unions and should be changed so that businesses can increase productivity and have more flexibility with their workforce. Do you think Australia’s industrial relations laws favour employers or workers or do they balance the interests of workers and employers?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

 

Full time workers

Part time workers

July 2012

Favour employers

23%

33%

15%

22%

26%

27%

23%

20%

Favour workers

17%

11%

28%

9%

17%

18%

15%

26%

Balance the interests of employers and workers

30%

33%

30%

32%

32%

33%

29%

34%

Don’t know

30%

22%

27%

38%

26%

22%

34%

20%

Respondents were divided over whether Australia’s industrial relations laws favour employers or workers – 23% think they favour employers, 17% favour workers and 30% think they balance the interests of both.

Labor voters are more likely to think they favour employers (33%) while Liberal/National voters are more likely to think they favour workers (28%). Only 11% of Labor voters and 9% of Greens voters think the laws favour workers.

Since this question was asked in July 2012, those thinking industrial relations laws favour workers has dropped from 26% to 17% and those who could not give an opinion has increased from 20% to 30%.

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