Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke says businesses currently have to directly seek permission from him to strike pay deals across various employers.
The government has committed to legislating multi-employer bargaining to allow smaller businesses and their workers to reach wage agreements across a number of workplaces.
Businesses leaders and the opposition say the government is kowtowing to union demands and opening up parts of the economy to widespread strikes.
Burke told parliament during question time that 22 different workplaces employing dental hygienists, dental therapists and health therapists, went to his office “needing my permission to be allowed to bargain together”.
“So the workers want to bargain with these employers, the 22 employers want to bargain together, and yet we have a red-tape system where it has to go all the way to the minister,” he said.
“And after I give permission for it, which I did today, it then has to go to the Fair Work Commission for them to give permission as well.”
Burke also spoke of a group of 70 Victorian childcare centres who hatched out an agreement to pay their workers 16 per cent above the award. However, they must approach Fair Work separately to have the agreements ratified for each workplace.