Australia's productivity no result of IR laws: Bornstein

22 July 2013
Leading employment lawyer Josh Bornstein will tell employers that they are being conned if they believe labour laws are the key to driving up productivity.

In his speech today to the 21st Annual Labour Law Conference in Sydney, Mr Bornstein will call for an end to the myth that IR laws are the key to driving productivity.

Mr Bornstein, aside from being one of the country's most prominent employee lawyers, is himself a director and employer at Maurice Blackburn. His speech laments the failure to acknowledge the record productivity growth in the last 2 years.

"Private interests continue to peddle the myth thaT IR laws inhibit the economy. No one seems to have registered that productivity growth has  currently got a 3 in front of it," Mr Bornstein said.

He also argues that a productive, fair and dynamic work place can't be legislated.

Mr Bornstein says productivity figures released by the ABS show that labour productivity has substantially increased since late 2010 and that it has increased for seven consecutive quarters. In 2011- 2012, it rose at 3.4 per cent, exceeding the long term average of 2.0 per cent.

The most recent ABS data is even more impressive, showing a 3.6 per cent growth over the last 12 months and 5.2 per cent growth over the last two years.

Mr Bornstein says that as an employer, he believes the solution is for private enterprise to "tune out" from the false debate, and continue driving workplace performance and productivity through greater education, skills, training, innovation, managerial capacity and experimentation.

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