The University of Newcastle's Professor Mark Bray has outlined a vision for Australia's industrial relations policy, at a meeting of unions and academics in Sydney.
The roundtable discussion on "An Industrial Relations System for the 21st Century" was organised by WorkNSW, the research arm of Unions NSW. It comprised a series of presentations by leading academics outlining policy ideas for the future of Australia's industrial relations system.
Professor Bray said his presentation focused on two main policy ideas.
"There has been a preoccupation in recent years with employment regulation at an enterprise level," he said.
"This should be at least partially reversed to accommodate the important role of industry-level regulation. Some work towards this has been done with the Australian Government's efforts to develop 'modern awards', but there is still more to do.
"Secondly, any future industrial relations system should address the issue of 'complexity'. Some complexity in an industrial relations system can allow flexibility and diversity, but can also produce conflict and confusion.
"The policy solution requires attention to how the various elements of the system fit together and all parties effectively understanding the structure and operation of the system."
The meeting was held in Sydney last week.