We need the IR Omnibus Bill to pass as an essential way to remove complexity for employers and add certainty for employees.
COSBOA is pleased with the opportunity to join with the ACTU in supporting t MGA Independent Retailers and the retail union (the SDA) and the AWU in changes to the retail award to allow for flexibility for employers, more certainty for employees and more permanent jobs.
However, COSBOA does not believe that the joint application to the FWC on part-time flexibility diminishes the urgent need for the passing of the Government’s IR Omnibus Bill. If anything, the agreement highlights the value of the IR Omnibus Bill in its entirety.
COSBOA will continue to firmly push for Parliament to pass the Bill. It is essential that there are continued changes to workplace relations that build flexibility for small business employers and certainty, with increased permanent work, for employees.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, stated ‘Any suggestion that the joint application now in front of the Fair Work Commission provides a model that negates the provisions of the IR Bill is misguided. The application was specifically developed for the General Retail Industry as a means of providing immediate support to that one distressed industry – and concessions were made by both sides to agree to the joint application. The IR Omnibus Bill, on the other hand, provides relief to 12 distressed industries in double quick time with various concessions and safeguards across the board, and that is why this Bill needs to be passed with urgency.
The IR club, the part which contains big employer groups, have not helped the Government in its pursuit of needed change.'
Mr Strong added “the Government’s focus on the needs of the workplace instead of on ideology, as reflected in its IR Omnibus Bill, is the right approach. The actions of the Attorney-General Christian Porter over the last twelve months in bringing groups together to get change to workplace relations has been the right thing to do. The consultation groups may have been torturous at times, and have no doubt they were, but they did create much needed dialogue. The Attorney-General showed the way in consultation and the Prime Minister challenged us all to ‘lay down our swords’; COSBOA and MGA Independent Retailers have shown how it is done. We also hope relevant unions and the ACTU can somehow or other change their minds and support the Bill.”
Mr Strong further added “we will continue to work with the Morrison Government and with the unions to get necessary change. This is just the start. Change must happen, ideology must be put in the background, that’s what the IR Omnibus Bill is about. It is about reality and real life of small business and community not just about those with IR experts and outdated opinions.”