The department’s Economic Strategy group works across the APS to develop evidence-based policies that promote the economic participation of people, particularly those at risk of disadvantage. The group provides advice on the economy, migration policy and trade agreements; manages the portfolio’s data research and evaluation programmes; and works closely with internal and external stakeholders on policy development and research.
In 2015–16 the department will lead the delivery of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee recovery programme, which was announced in the 2015–16 Budget. The programme involves funding liquidators or legal practitioners to undertake proceedings that will increase the amount available for distribution following the liquidation of an employer. The aims of the programme are to improve the recovery of funds to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee and reduce the overall cost of the scheme. The programme will be trialled for two years with a budget of $11.5 million. Further funding will be subject to a review in 2017.
The department has a significant forward work programme on work health and safety and workers’ compensation, including finalising the comprehensive reform package for the Seacare scheme. Together with Comcare, other Commonwealth agencies and international leaders, the department will continue to lead policies that aim to prevent work-related injuries and disease and improve return-to-work outcomes for injured workers.
The department will advise the government on the Productivity Commission’s review of the workplace relations framework, the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, and the government’s deregulation agenda.
In 2015–16 the department will continue to work with portfolio agencies to support the government to deliver national workplace relations systems to underpin jobs growth and promote fair and safe workplaces for all Australians.
The department will continue to provide legal and policy advice on the workplace relations system and related matters and support the consideration of legislation before parliament.