When Joe became Australia’s Minister for Workplace Relations he was asked by the Prime Minister to help nail down the biggest changes to industrial relations laws in a generation.
Apart from delivering WorkChoices, a new industrial reform agenda of the Howard Government, Joe was responsible for the delivery of all the employment programs across the economy. His changes to the delivery of welfare to work initiatives helped to deliver better outcomes for those seeking employment.
In a short period of time Joe was able to deliver changes to WorkChoices that took some of the harder edges off the new laws. The “Fairness Test” and changes to implementation of new laws helped to address some significant community concerns about the changes.
At the time of the change in Government in 2007 Australia’s unemployment rate had fallen to record lows as the economy continued to grow at a significant pace.