Senator Eric Abetz
Senator Eric Abetz john mccutcheon

Abetz launches Fair Work Act inquiry

JUST six days out from Christmas, the Abbott government has launched its inquiry into the Fair Work Act, inviting submissions to the Productivity Commission review.

Workplace Minister Eric Abetz released the terms of reference for the inquiry just hours after releasing an interim report from the Royal Commission into Trade Unions on Friday.

The inquiry will examine how the Fair Work Act, which governs employment agreements across the nation, is operating, five years after it was created.

It will investigate the entire workplace relations framework including how the act affected workplace bargaining, "the ability of employers to flexibly manage" their employees and the compliance burden for employers.

Senator Abetz said the inquiry needed to hear from the smallest and largest businesses in the country, as well as individual employees and unions.

Originally an election promise, the Commission's inquiry was expected to begin earlier this year, but the terms of reference was not released until after the Royal Commission's interim report was released on Friday.

After submissions and consultations with interest groups, a final report will be given to the government in November next year.