Thursday, February 29, 2024

Labor’s job-killing new IR world

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They’ve typically allowed employees to do things like pick up their children or attend personal appointments during work hours under the understanding that required work tasks will still be completed by the employee, often at times outside normal work hours.

But with the Albanese government making it a potential offence for employers to contact their employees outside of work hours, many businesses will be forced to ensure their employees are in the office, at their desks, for their standard nine-to-five workday.

The Albanese government put through around 100 amendments to their own legislation that managed to make a bad bill worse.

Issues relating to flexibility should be worked out between bosses and workers in a way to benefit everyone involved. During the pandemic, most workplaces around Australia managed these arrangements very well. It is not something that needs to be legislated. The Coalition will repeal this law when in government.

The default position of Labor is to impose more regulation, complexity and ultimately costs onto the job creators of Australia. That is certainly what we have seen as they’ve pushed through radical changes to our workplace system in three tranches of legislation since December 2022.

Amazingly, in the latest tranche, the Albanese government put through around 100 amendments to their own legislation that managed to make a bad bill worse.

This is terrible legislation that businesses and employers across Australia are saying will create extreme uncertainty for businesses that employ casual workers, particularly small businesses.

At a time of a cost-of-living crisis, high inflation, businesses struggling with staff shortages and rapidly increasing power costs, Labor is making a bad situation worse.

None of the measures are designed to improve productivity, jobs, growth and investment, the ingredients of a successful economy.

It is clear from Labor’s industrial relations agenda the government wants to hand over all workplaces to the unions, including small and family businesses.

Bad for business, economy, workers

This bill, in combination with what came before it, is bad for the business community and bad for the economy. Ultimately, it will be bad for the workers of this nation because it will mean fewer jobs.

Small and medium-sized businesses employ millions of Australians across regions, towns, cities, and every sector. Why does the government want to burden them with additional constraints and costs?

IR reform is one of the most important of all the economic reforms required to make Australia more productive and competitive and to ensure all Australians enjoy greater prosperity.

Increased productivity comes from working smarter – not longer – and using all the tools at our disposal to make our workplaces more effective, efficient and innovative.

When you increase productivity, your wages have the capacity to rise faster, and those wage increases will be sustainable for your employer and the workforce. More productivity means more secure jobs and helps keep interest rates and inflation under control.

The Coalition is carefully consulting with a wide range of stakeholders as we formulate workplace relations policies before the next election.

The Coalition wants to make it easier for businesses to employ Australians and run successful businesses – not more difficult as Labor is doing with its ideological agenda.

Most small businesses have limited resources. They need flexibility to be able to run their operations effectively. This means flexibility for the business owner and their employees, not rigid rules that make things harder for everyone.

Any IR changes we pursue will seek to provide simplified compliance, fairness, cost-effectiveness and support for growth and productivity.

Increasing productivity and cutting red tape for small businesses, will be central to everything the Coalition does in workplace policies.

Australia needs a modern workplace relations system that delivers a safety net for workers, recognises the shared interests of managers and workers in an enterprise’s success, and gives all enterprises the agility they need to compete and succeed.

Any changes must be designed to improve productivity, grow wages and enhance competition. These are the ingredients of a successful economy.

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