26 September 2023

Fair Work ‘nudges’ for better outcomes

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The Fair Work Commission has published the outcomes of its first behavioural insights project.

The Commission’s report, Promoting Compliance Through Behavioural Insights, looks at how behavioural insights techniques could be applied to reduce costs and barriers to access for employers and employees who use the Commission’s services.

President of the Commission, Justice Iain Ross (pictured) said that applying behavioural insights to the Commission’s public information and processes could help reduce the anxiety, stress and confusion that parties experienced when navigating the legal process in unfair dismissal cases.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for employees and employers dealing with these applications to access our services and understand what they need to do,” Justice Ross said.

“Providing targeted and accessible information to a party when they need it, and are able to absorb it, can assist their understanding of a process and lead to better decision-making, which improves their ability to genuinely access justice.”

He said behavioural insights — also known as ‘nudge theory’— drew on cognitive science, psychology and behavioural economics to understand the unconscious biases and motivations that influence how people think, make decisions and behave, with the goal of helping people make timely and informed decisions.

“Behavioural insights techniques can be applied to our public information to make it clearer and easier for agreement-makers to follow the steps required to make and lodge a compliant agreement application,” Justice Ross said.

He said that failure to comply with the relevant statutory requirements could lead to delays in the determination of applications to approve an enterprise agreement.

The Commission’s 84-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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