Terms of Reference



The Employment White Paper (the White Paper) will provide a roadmap for Australia to build a bigger, better-trained and more productive workforce – to boost incomes and living standards and create more opportunities for more Australians.

The White Paper will build on the outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit and will have an overarching focus on the objectives of full employment and productivity growth for the benefit of all Australians, along with women’s economic participation and equality.

It will explore issues, frameworks and policy approaches relevant to the future of Australia’s labour market over the medium and long term and will take into account a diverse range of perspectives from across Australia, including from representatives of civil society, unions, employers and governments.

Scope and themes

The White Paper will analyse the dynamics in the labour market and outline policy frameworks and actions consistent with the Government’s objectives. It will cover the following:

  1. Full employment and increasing labour productivity growth and incomes, including the approach to achieving these objectives.
  2. The future of work and labour market implications of structural change, with a focus on:

    2.1 Building a sustainable care economy in the context of an ageing population and other drivers of demand for care services.

    2.2 The energy transition and tackling climate change to achieve net zero.

    2.3 The transformation associated with digitalisation and emerging technologies.

    2.4 Building more resilient supply chains in a changing geopolitical landscape.

    2.5 The adaptability of our workforce to meet the needs of emerging industries and areas of traditional economic strength.

  3. Job security, fair pay and conditions, including the role of workplace relations.
  4. Pay equity, including the gender pay gap, equal opportunities for women and the benefits of a more inclusive workforce.
  5. Labour force participation, labour supply and improving employment opportunities.

    5.1 Reducing barriers and disincentives to work, including the role of childcare, social security settings and employment services.

    5.2 Improving labour market outcomes for those who face challenges in employment, including First Nations people, those who live in rural and remote areas, younger and older Australians, people with disability, and those who may experience discrimination.

    5.3 Skills, education and training, upskilling and reskilling, including in transitioning sectors and regions.

    5.4 Migration settings as a complement to the domestic workforce.

  6. The role of collaborative partnerships between governments, industry, unions, civil society groups and communities, including place-based approaches.
  7. Other relevant topics and approaches.


  1. The development of the White Paper will be led by the Employment Taskforce in Treasury, in consultation with other departments.
  2. The White Paper will be underpinned by rigorous data and evidence, relevant international comparisons, and stakeholder submissions and engagement.
  3. The White Paper will consider other Government processes and reviews relevant to the labour market.

Structure and timing

  1. Public consultation on the White Paper will begin before the end of 2022.
  2. The White Paper will be released by the end of September 2023.