Joint statement from:
Business Council of Australia
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Australian Energy Producers
Australian Industry Group
Australian Retailers Association
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia
Master Builders Australia
Minerals Council of Australia
National Farmers Federation
Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association
Restaurant and Catering Industry Association
Higher costs of living and job losses will be the consequence of rushed major workplace relations changes pushed through the Parliament today, according to Australia’s major employer organisations.
The Government has railroaded Senate process today to avoid scrutiny and debate on their radical labour hire changes and vast union powers.
They have broken their election commitment to be consultative.
There are over 40 new changes to the labour hire legislation alone, which have not been debated or scrutinised by the Senate Committee inquiry.
The Government is shattering business confidence and investment at a time of economic uncertainty.
Included within today’s Closing Loopholes Bill are significant increases to union powers in the workplace, which will be a multi-million dollar gift to unions.
It will expand union delegates’ powers in workplaces and provide union delegates with uncapped training, funded by their employers and subject to union whim.
It is extremely disappointing that genuinely positive reforms, such as supporting the care of first responders, have been used as a smokescreen for handing unions more power.
In addition, the changes to labour hire, also rushed through, will increase costs and complexity for business.
This will hit many small businesses and drive up prices, risk jobs and comes at a time when there are already many pressures on the economy.
While employers had supported particular elements of the Bill being considered separately, today’s rushed passage without adequate debate and cherry-picking other elements will have major consequences for businesses and their workforce.
We have always said that we welcome the opportunity to work constructively with the Government in addressing real issues, however throughout this process it has failed to identify the clear problems it seeks to resolve.
We urge the Government to genuinely engage on the key issues posed by changes to the gig economy, casuals, and the potential impact on independent contractors in the new year.
Media contact: Dee Zegarac, National Director, Media & Public Affairs
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