Regulatory reform

Employment portfolio agencies and the Department continue to make inroads into reducing unnecessary regulatory burden faced by businesses, community organisations, individuals and families. Among the Department’s achievements during 2016–17 were the Youth Employment Package, offering new jobs pathways that saved $37 million in regulatory burden, reforms to workers’ compensation for licensed self-insuring firms saving almost $1.7 million in regulatory burden per year, and simplifying Fair Entitlements Claims processes saving around $725,000 in regulatory burden per year.

The Department’s Regulation Impact Statements (RIS) were all assessed as compliant with best practice for Australian Government RISs. In addition, Safe Work Australia prepared a number of COAG RISs, including on explosives regulation, managing the risks associated with lead in the workplace, and model work health and safety. All RISs were compliant with COAG requirements. Other policy decisions were supported by certified RIS-like processes—for example, the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, the Productivity Commission inquiry report on the Workplace Relations Framework and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s report on 7‑Eleven.

In 2016–17, the portfolio’s regulators will complete their second self-assessment under the Government’s Regulator Performance Framework. A Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet review of Regulator Performance Framework implementation in 2015–16 found that the Department of Employment regulators’ reports were of high quality and incorporated better practice features.