BHP's IR lessons for Australian companies

While Tony Abbott will struggle to reform industrial relations, BHP is showing that companies can make the existing system work to their advantage.

The turmoil in Canberra means the prospect of a new workplace industrial relations act in the next five years is now close to zero. The best that can be hoped for is adjustments to penalty rates and shift allowances.

The Prime Minister simply does not have the political capital to promise an extensive industrial relations act review at the next election in 2016 and, as it happens, companies such as BHP and Simplot have shown that the existing act is very workable if you have the right management.

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