Original Release date: 20 February 2012
CONTACT: Mr Peter Strong
A CIRCUIT BREAKER FOR SMALL BUSINESS WORKPLACES
COSBOA has lodged its submission (to the Government’s review of the Fair Work Act and is asking for a circuit breaker for the small workplace. We need two systems, one for the large workplace with all its complexity and one for the small workplace with fewer people and easier solutions.
Peter Strong, Executive Director of COSBOA, stated that “Since federation our workplace and industrial relations systems have been about big business, big unions and big government. But times have changed and we now have a situation where over 96% of workplaces employ less than 20 people and some 60% employ less than 5 people. We need a system based on the needs of the small workplace.”
COSBOA understands that we are facing an economic crisis that is worse than the GFC. We also understand that the way to manage this crisis is to focus on support to the the millions of business people who will work long and hard, who will innovate and who will carry the economy through to recovery. We need to make the employment system easy for everyone and make sure it does not impede growth. Over 7 million people earn their living in a small business workplace and many of these people prefer to work in this environment because it is friendlier, has less conflict and provides more opportunity.
Mr Strong added “Big businesses are of course an integral part of an economy but they are in the minority, yet the systems are designed for them. The small business community can react quickly to change. What is impeding us is the increasing red tape and, for example, the difficulty associated with understanding workplace regulations designed to be understood by pay clerks, not by non-experts like a small business owner. We are currently working with the government to make it easier for a small business person to employ their first employee – we must also make it easier to keep them in employment.”
Mr Strong also added “Let big business, the unions and government experts all fight among themselves in their own big business system while the rest of us get on with our businesses and our lives in the ever-increasing world of the small business workplace.”