While the Senate continues to debate the Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill, CCIWA united with national, state and territory chambers of commerce this week in an open letter urging the Senate to split the Bill “to allow further time for careful examination of business’ concerns”.
In a separate opinion piece published in The West Australian today, CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell outlined how the rushed Bill will result in “a lawyers’ picnic” and put WA jobs and businesses at risk.
Instead, he argued, the Productivity Commission, the government body which independently assesses the economic and social impacts of policy, should undertake an Australia-wide analysis of the impacts, and how businesses would respond to this seismic change.
“The Bill has come from nowhere, with not a whisper of elements such as multi-employer bargaining pre-election,” he wrote.
“The Federal Government is trying to shoehorn it through Parliament before Christmas, steamrolling legitimate concerns of the business community.”
Cost of the workplace laws
It comes as business groups challenged as “grossly underestimated” the Government’s costings for Australian businesses to operate under the workplace laws.
The Government’s estimates were small businesses: $14,638; medium businesses: $75,148; and large businesses: $94,311, based on a $175 per hour rate provided by a self-described “spiritual healer”.
However, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), using the Government’s own methodology but with a more accurate minimum market rate of $438 per hour, said employers can expect to pay between:
- $19,574 – $23,684 for a small business.
- $107,344 – $129,880 for a medium business.
- $126,307 – $152,820 for a large business.
ACCI pointed out that the Government’s own Regulatory Impact Statement also showed that even small business owners would have to spend at least 4.6 hours every day for up to six months negotiating a multi-employer agreement.
A ‘Simple Guide’ to the IR Reform Bill
To help Members navigate the proposed changes, CCIWA has broken them down into a simple, concise and straight forward guide.
CCIWA will also be developing more detailed guidelines on the changes, which will be made available exclusively to Members only.
We recommend you seek advice if any of the areas of reform in the quick guide are going to impact your business. Call our Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email email@example.com.
CCIWA has also launched the first in a series of webinars on the IR Bill, with the first to take place on Monday, November 28.
Hosted by CCIWA’s Associate Director of Workplace Relations and HR, Ryan Martin, the webinar will “allow you to learn about the IR reforms, and how they will impact your business”.
For more on the IR reforms and how you can back our campaign see cciwa.com/advocating-for-change/ir-reform-bill/.