“It's about the passion”

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ken Phillips is co-founder and Executive Director of Independent Contractors of Australia. He is a published authority on independent contractor issues and directs research on related commercial and trade practices issues. Through his numerous articles in newspapers and think-tank and academic journals, Ken is known for approaching issues from outside normal perspectives and is frequently sought out for media comment.

Hits and misses in the Productivity Commission's IR review

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Australian unions will be delighted with the Productivity Commission review of the workplace relations framework released yesterday. Finally unions might be able to run another ‘it’s the horror of WorkChoices’ scare campaign. They’ve been longing for this since Abbott won government.

Unions have taken a beating in the Royal Commission into union corruption. The exposure of payola from corporations lining union financial coffers has been most embarrassing. It shows unions to be frequently more chummy with corporates than with employees. What a relief for unions that the Productivity Commission has recommended a cut in weekend penalty rates; it provides a handy shift of public focus. More...


Small retailers will suffer the ultimate penalty

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The political uproar that is the debate over penalty rates could almost be a hysterical comedy written for Australians by the ghost of Shakespeare.

Think of it. Some months ago as Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s popularity polling was crashing, he dared utter the thought bubble that penalty rates should be reformed. There was uproar from his surrogate political opponents, the union movement, headed by the ACTU. More...


Abbott government takes on big business-union 'establishment'

Monday, February 10, 2014

There is considerable speculation, even confusion, over the motivation of the Abbott government in knocking back subsidies to Holden and SPC.

Some Liberal/National parliamentarians and state governments are nervous, fearing negative political fallout. But the government's reasoning is clear. More...


Saying no to corporate welfare

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to do away with corporate welfare. Thank goodness!

Corporate welfare is effectively a business prop, most frequently for big businesses that aren’t well run. In the last 16 years $30 billion has been given to car manufacturers. What’s that achieved?  Mostly wasted money and painful delays to the ultimate closures of Ford and Holden! More...


Holden: The car maker's Australian exit is a good thing

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thank goodness Holden is finally leaving Australia. The pain is over and no longer will ordinary Australian taxpayers and small business people have to pay to keep Holden going.

Yes, unions are crying ''What about the poor workers!'' Poor workers? These are privileged workers. More...


IR deals hog-tie Holden

Friday, September 20, 2013

It was only the middle of last year that Ford announced it was closing. Now Holden is making the same threat, not directly but through what it seems is its chief lobbyist, the South Australian Labor government. This time, Holden is saying it wants another $275 million from government or it closes. More...


The union hand on the wheel that doomed Ford

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There's more to the Ford closure story than at first appears.

In fact, there's a monster truck crashing over the bonnets of the car manufacturing industry in Australia.  Unfortunately, no one seems capable of stopping its destructive progress. Sitting in the driver's seat are Australia's manufacturing unions shouting loud about 'workers' rights'.  These unions share a big part of the blame for the industry's progressive decline and job losses. More...


How Abbott outflanked Labor on IR

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Coalition's industrial relations policy is a real disappointment to many.

It's disappointing for big business lobbyists who wanted a commitment to individual employment agreements. They wanted a dropping of good faith bargaining provisions and the reintroduction of employer friendly Greenfield agreements amongst many items. Most things on their wish list are technical legal issues relating to how union negotiations are to be handled. More...


Hospitality penalty rates killing our weekend cafe society


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Penalty rate hikes in awards, particularly weekend and public holiday rates, are causing Australia to undergo a backward revolution. It's a step into the past by stealth. Restrictive trading hours are being imposed through the mechanism of business-breaking cost hikes. More...


Contract killers for the mining boom

Monday, April 15, 2013

Woodside's announcement last week that it would pull out of its $45 billion onshore Browse LNG project in Western Australia is a horrid whack in the head for Australia's wealth creation capacity. No responsible government can afford to ignore what's happened because there's surely more of this to come. More...



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