Jennifer Westacott Business Council of Australia
Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The coronavirus has brought about an apparent storm of hitherto unseen cooperation and reform -- albeit temporary -- on industrial relations in Australia. Meanwhile, employer groups continue to push for the same changes they prescribe for every problem: deregulation -- or "flexibility" and "simplification" -- of the workplace relations system.

University of Adelaide Law School Professor Andrew Stewart has provided expert advice to the International Labour Organisation and federal and state governments across Australia, including on the drafting and structure of the Fair Work Act.

He told Crikey that if Australia maintained this co-operation between traditionally adversarial parties in the early stages of the crisis it would provide "a very serious dividend".