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Critically assess the following statement: ‘Recent changes (mid 2007) to the WorkChoices legislation have made the task of human resource practitioners in implementing this new set of industrial relations laws much more straightforward, fair and simple’.

In Early November 2005 Prime Minister John Howard revealed a new Industrial Relations Legislation called “Work Choices”. This legislation has been put into action on the 27th of March 2007, its aim is to create a fairer system, yet many unions believe, it will make the system less fair by reducing job security and enable employers to dictate minimum wages and working conditions. (Hall 2006; Bray, M. and Waring 2005). In May 2007, the Federal Government announced the introduction of a "Fairness Test" that will replace the no-disadvantage test. The Fairness Test applies to workplace agreements lodged on or after 7 May 2007, Workplace agreements lodged before this time will not be affected. (CCH, Understanding Work Choices, Ch: 1, P: 2). The aim of this essay is to give a clear view of this new legislation and its impact on Human Resource practitioners who are working for the benefit of employers and employees at the same time, and whether this legislation has eased their work or has created new complications. The Recent industrial relations legislative changes in Australia debatably puts great responsibilities on HR managers, and raise concerns related to the role they may take in endorsing fairness and justice within the workplace.( Lowry; 2006)

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, Mark Vaile says working families in regional Australia will benefit from changes to WorkChoices laws which introduce a fairness test for employees earning under $75,000 per annum. The fairness test would ensure that employees trading off conditions such as penalty rates, leave and public holiday loadings, meal and shift allowances and rest breaks when they sign a new workplace agreement, will receive fair compensation...

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