Australia needs a modern and adaptable workplace system that attracts investment, drives sustainable wage growth, supports communities and contributes to national prosperity.
Mining is the largest contributor to the Australian economy, accounting for almost 10 per cent of GDP. The industry is the largest source of the nation’s export income, with the resources sector accounting for $413 billion (69 per cent) of the nation’s export revenue in 2021-22.
In addition, the mining industry:
- Employed 286,000 people in 2020-21 – and directly and indirectly supports over 1.1 million jobs at over 200 operating mine sites and in supply chains
- Pays more on average than any other industry in Australia ($148,000 a year compared to $96,800 across all industries) – with 99 per cent of mining workers earning above-Award wages and conditions
- Provides secure jobs, with 86 per cent of mining workers employed on a permanent basis and 96 per cent employed full time.
Labour Hire and 'Same job, Same pay' legislation
Mining companies adapt their employment arrangements to suit very different locations, ore bodies, production techniques, occupations and worker preferences. Service contractors perform specialist tasks, ranging from the removal of overburden to planned maintenance shutdowns. By necessity, this requires a workforce that includes a combination of ongoing direct employees as well as service providers to perform specific tasks on a non-ongoing basis. Some companies use labour hire to manage temporary expansions and increases in demand, while others deploy specialised teams of employees for specific safety, environment and productivity projects.
The reintroduction of multi-employer bargaining into the Australian workplace relations regime is also bad for job security and wages. It also risks exposing Australia’s most productive workplaces to strike action across entire industries or supply chains. Genuine enterprise agreements and individual arrangements allow firms to employ a diverse and adaptable workforce and link pay to productivity performance. The resources sector can only pay the highest average earnings in the country because it is a technological innovator and one of the most productive industries in the world.
- MCA submission to DEWR - Employee-like forms of work_12 May
- Stronger protections for workers against discrimination - Submission to government Consultation Paper, May 2023
- Fair Work Legislation (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023 – submission to Senate Committee Inquiry, April 2023
- Proposed 2023 Workplace Relations legislation – submission to government, April 2023
- Same Job, Same Pay consultation - submission to government, December 2022
- Fair Work Legislation Amendments (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2023 – submission to Senate Committee inquiry, November 2022
- CIE Estimating the economic benefits of mining expansion
- Deloitte Report - Economic effects of changes to labour hire laws 2019