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Commonwealth policy on employee participation

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MONDAY, JUNE 12, 1978


Statement by the Minister for Productivity Mr I a n ‘ Macphee

The Government has approved a policy statement which sets out its ■ 3

approach to. employee participation, the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee announced in Melbourne today. ' ' . -

Mr Macphee said the policy presented a program of action designed to increase the number of Australian organisations operating with greater employee participation. 1 c

He said that "employee participation" in the 'new Federal policy '

meant the increasing opportunity and ability of Australians at work to influence both their work and their work environment.

The Government would seek advice on the development of employee participation programs .and = on national strategies from* an expert r-steering committee to be established by the Government serviced by the Department of Productivity, Mr Macphee said.

This committee would include representatives of trade unions, employers and government, reflecting the need for a consensus approach to employee participation. .

Mr Macphee announced the new employee· participation policy during his official opening address to The 27th Annual Industrial Relations Convention of the Victorian Employers* Federation in Melbourne today.

"The Government will take an active part in increasing public understanding of the employee participation philosophy, and in encouraging and demonstrating implementation of the approaches essential to this new work relationship," the Minister said.

"The Government has a catalytic and coordinating role to bring together the initiatives which arise from employees and their unions, employers and their associations, and Federal and State Government bodies; to facilitate the widest possible discussion of techniques,

of successes and of failures; and to disseminate information to all levels of industry, the work force and the general public."

Through the Department of Productivity, the Government would become increasingly involved in raising the level of community awareness, understanding and involvement through seminars and workshops and in the provision of training, user-orientated material and practical assistance.

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The Government had consistently taken the view that effective - communication, understanding and cooperation between employers and employees were fundamental to Australia's development.

The Government believed it should more actively encourage and support developments leading to opportunities for increased ... involvement and greater influence by employees in decisions .

;·Î° V. ο·, .concerning their work and work environment. · .. . . v · .

v Mr Macphee said the underlying philosophy of the policy was that . -

workable program. o;£, employee-participation was in, the. interests .. · not only of individual employees but also of management, shareholders and consumers.

' . - . . ι · ί . < /Evidence suggested that initiatives in employee participation led to . ,i: .

. increased organisational effectiveness, improvements in the quality ' · „ i.

- of goods and services, and more satisfying and fulfilling work for .


.;/-ν' Mr Macphee*s policy, statement outlined a number of important · ■ ■ ■ ■ principles and the major approaches to employee participation. : ■

Legislation of a prescriptive kind was not envisaged; participative practices should evolve from the individual needs and realities '

' . . within each organisation. The most effective applications of .

• ■ . employee participation were those which were instituted jointly by = ■ ■ ■ > . ■ · ' managements and their employees. . c

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