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Small business and unions agree to developing the right workplace system

In the lead up to the Jobs and Skills Summit on 1 and 2 September COSBOA and the ACTU have agreed to work together on key elements of workplace relations reform.

COSBOA represents industry associations with over 800k small business members.

The ACTU represents 1.6 million workers and is involved in wage setting for more than 50% of the workforce.

COSBOA and the ACTU have agreed to come together to explore ways to simplify and reduce complexity within the industrial relations system that will enable small businesses to employ more people and grow their businesses

The two organisations have agreed to support development of a simpler system for small business that includes:

1. The ability for small business to be able to correctly embrace the workplace relations requirements

2. a simpler BOOT

3. new options for flexibility in the workplace

4. new options around collective bargaining which include multi-employer agreements.

Both organisations recognise the importance of small business owners and employees to our economy and have committed to work together with new laws to deliver workplace arrangements that are customised for small businesses that benefit owners and employees.

Quotes attributable to COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd:

“Small business have been looking for a way forward that suit their unique needs for a long time. We do not have resources that are available to big business with lawyers and HR departments. The current bargaining system was not built for us, it is not efficient and is too complicated. We welcome the opportunity to explore new flexible single or multi-employer options that can be customised to our circumstances. The one size fits all approach doesn’t work. The Jobs Summit is an opportunity to look for new and modern solutions. Small business is seeking an environment that is conducive to employ more people and that reduces the complexity of compliance.”

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“We recognise that the current system is not working for small business. We are committed to working with COSBOA to put in place bespoke and modern agreements that are easy to administer and suit the needs of employees and business owners. The current enterprise focused system was built for an economy of 30 years ago, it needs to be upgraded and work for the economy of today. The employees of small businesses, and their owners, should be able to access the same benefits from bargaining that bigger businesses have enjoyed”.

Media contact: Peter Green (ACTU) 0400 764 200 or Alexi Boyd (COSBOA) 0433 644 097


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