Outlook for Outcome 2

  • The Department is continuing to focus its efforts on future policy developments in workplace relations and work health and safety, including assisting the Government in further developing its response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and progressing reforms to the Comcare Scheme legislation.
  • It will continue to provide financial assistance to retrenched workers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee—including developing response strategies in periods of peak demand, such as a major corporate collapse or industry transition.
  • The Department will continue recovery actions under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program, which is an ongoing program from 1 January 2017. Such actions aim to increase the amount available for distribution following the liquidation of employers and reduce the overall cost of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee.
  • The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner will continue to promote awareness of the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme and help more businesses gain and maintain the safety standards required for accreditation under the scheme. This will be supported through the public launch of the Agency Reporting Online database under development in 2016–17 and organising industry ‘road shows’ and other engagement activities.
  • The Department will continue to research the effects of new technology, economic shifts and emerging business models and develop policy responses on the future of work.
  • The Department will progress work on a data management strategy, which will position us to progress the Government’s Public Sector Data Agenda and any actions arising from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Data Availability and Use.
  • A number of projects will be progressed over the coming year under the Department’s forward research agenda. These include research into ways to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation outcomes, as well as employment supports for pre-release prisoners, migrant workers, Indigenous people and workers affected by the closure of the Australian automotive industry.

The Department will continue to work collaboratively with other agencies to provide to government policy advice on reviews of migration policy programs. It will also work with other government agencies to ensure that there is a fair workplace relations and workplace health and safety system, with a focus on temporary visa holders with a work right; this includes tackling workplace exploitation.