Anthony Albanese promised to convene a "full employment summit" on how to help wages, and businesses, to grow. What is it, and how can it be implemented?"Full employment summit": a tripartite structure bringing together business, unions, and the community sector

Who is going?

  • Albanese government limited places at the summit to just 100, instantly making it the hottest ticket in town.
  • The government will publish a full list of attendees closer to the summit but says it will be 30% employers and their representatives, 30% workers and unions, 40% subject matter experts and representatives from the community, education, employment services and social services sectors, and 10% from government.

What is on the agenda?

  • Session on Maintaining full employment and growing productivity

What policies are proposed?

  • The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) wants workers to be able to bargain with multiple employers at the same time
  • Restrict employers' ability to apply to the Fair Work Commission for early cancellation of a workplace pay deal
  • A price cap on essentials including electricity
  • Non-union members to be charged a fee equal to 70% of union dues if they are covered by a pay deal negotiated by a union

What does the government say?

  • The workplace relations minister, Tony Burke, told ABC's 7.30 the government is "not ruling things in or out" ahead of the summit.
  • On multi-employer bargaining, Burke said: I do have to say I am very interested in what the ACTU have put forward... We need to be able to get bargaining moving"
  • Low unemployment should create pressure to push wages up but the bargaining system has "leaks" in it

Other parties

  • The Greens have signalled that they will move amendments to any industrial relations bills to implement their election promises to permanently set the minimum wage at 60% of the median wage and to close the gender pay gap by awarding above-inflation pay rises to women-dominated industries.

Where to after the summit

  • By the end of the summit or, at the latest, when Chalmers delivers the budget in October, the federal government should announce a new, higher migration cap.
  • Burke has said he will introduce an industrial relations bill this year, and he is prepared to act in some areas - such as blocking early termination of workplace pay deals - even if consensus with employers is not achieved.
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