Business chambers call for careful consideration of proposed workplace reforms

'We cannot allow industrial relations laws to make it harder for hard-working business owners to generate the wealth we enjoy as a nation'

Business chambers call for careful consideration of proposed workplace reforms

The chief executive officers of Australia's business chambers asked the Senate on Wednesday to carefully consider the impact of the second Closing Loopholes bill.

In a statement, the CEOs warned that the bill will likely have "unintended consequences" on all employers, employees, and the greater community by imposing additional costs on businesses.

"Our members employ millions of Australians across regions, towns, cities, and every sector. Most of our members are small businesses that contribute so much, and we will burden them with additional constraints and costs," the statement read.

"These costs will be passed on to the community or result in the loss of jobs. Or both."

The CEOs outlined the elements of the legislation that concern them, which include:

  • Employee-like forms of work
  • Casual employment
  • Powers for union officials
  • Road transport
  • Intractable bargaining
  • Right to disconnect

"We encourage the Senate to view this legislation through the broad lens of mainstream Australia, where family enterprise and small business is the lifeblood of the economy and community," the statement read.

"We cannot allow industrial relations laws to make it harder for hard-working business owners to generate the wealth we enjoy as a nation."

Opposing right to disconnect

Business groups previously called out the government for inserting last-minute proposals to the second Closing Loopholes bill, such as the right-to-disconnect amendment, without proper consultation.

In an interview this week, Employment Minister Tony Burke said the right to disconnect would be more about banning employers from penalising staff for disengaging after working hours.

"So, if the worker disconnects, if they decide they're not going to have their phone with them, if they decide they're not going to be checking their work emails, then absolutely no penalty can be brought against them. And that sort of protection would give you a way of doing it without fines on the employer," Burke told ABC Radio National.

Recent articles & video

New business owner dismisses worker via phone call: Is it unfair dismissal?

Fired for 'disrespecting' co-workers? Chef cries unfair dismissal after walkout

Unemployment rate sees uptick to 3.8% in March: ABS

JCU confirms underpaying casual employees

Most Read Articles

WA introduces changes to long service leave regulations for local government workers

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

Firm offers more leave days for in-office workers: reports