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Labor needs to work out if it is for ideology or reality when it comes to workplace relations

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has expressed disappointment over the Opposition’s decision to attempt to disallow a much needed motion to create clarity for small businesses on casual employment. The disallowance was defeated by the government with support from key cross bench Senators.

The Chief Executive Officer of COSBOA, Peter Strong, said the organisation and its members believed that rather than using the legislative instrument of a disallowance motion, a simpler response from the Labor Party would have given small business much-needed clarity around employment and risk. This approach, however, was opposed.

“Not that long ago we had good dialogue with the ACTU and unions,” Mr Strong said.

“We disagreed on certain issues but sought to come together around the reality of what is needed in the workplace.

“Indeed it could be argued that the union support of the Accord back in the 1980s and its on-going campaigns for higher wages and better conditions based on productivity have put the Australian worker in a great place when it comes to earnings and conditions.

“But if the modern ACTU was to get its way those conditions would be affected and unemployment would grow quickly.

“It is now the Labor Party that needs to work out whether it is for unions and ideology, or for reality, small business people, and workers – there’s a stark difference.”

Mr Strong said COSBOA also noted the recent decision by the High Court that created great uncertainty for businesses around how a ‘day’ should be defined for workplace relations purposes and how leave accruals are to be determined.

“If the unions get their way then employing people in Australia will become even more problematic and expensive,” he said.

“Workplace relations do not have to be this complicated and the complexity only favours those with vested interest - the ACTU and some industry associations.

“We ask the Government and the Labor Party to seek and support the removal of complexity and not chase ideological dreams driven by failed policy.”

See HERE for an edited version of COSBOA's submission to the Senaste inquiry into the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019

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