‘Right to disconnect’ laws will hurt WA businesses, says CCIWA

CCIWA has hit out at proposed “right to disconnect” laws, saying the latest amendments to the Federal Government’s contentious IR legislation will significantly impact WA businesses. 

The changes, the result of a deal with the Greens in exchange for support to pass the Government’s last tranche of IR legislation, would legally prevent employers from contacting their staff outside of office hours.

This could include Eastern States employees being unable to contact WA colleagues until after midday during daylight saving time, while west coast workers would have to cut off interstate business at 2pm WST. 

“The ‘right to disconnect’ laws could have a significant impact on WA businesses with clients, suppliers or headquarters in the Eastern States, particularly over the summer months when there is a three-hour time difference,” says CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell.

READ: Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1 passes: how will this affect you? 

“If these businesses can’t operate effectively because of a restrictive and radical regime pushed by the Greens, it could have serious consequences for their viability which will flow on to jobs and pricing.” 

Rodwell adds: “There are already significant protections in place to stop workers from doing unpaid overtime or being subject to unreasonable contact from their employer outside of work hours. 

 “These amendments will put a dent in productivity and competitiveness.” 

The amendments are contained in a Senate report investigating the IR legislation before Parliament. Businesses have not been consulted on the latest proposed changes. 

“The fact that these amendments are set to pass Parliament without any consultation with business and without being scrutinised as part of the lengthy Senate Committee process late last year indicates complete contempt for hardworking small and family business owners in WA,” says Rodwell. 

The last part of the Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill is set to be voted on this week. This includes:

  • Casual employment
  • Franchisees’ access to single-enterprise bargaining
  • Transitioning from multi-EAs
  • Model terms for EAs
  • Union delegate rights for independent contractors
  • Sham arrangements
  • Right of entry
  • Civil penalties
  • Compliance notices
  • Withdrawals from amalgamations of ROs
  • Definition of employment
  • Employee-like
  • Road transport
  • Intractable Bargaining Workplace Determinations

Our IR Masterclass has been updated to include all the latest content in the Closing Loopholes Bill. 

Our Employee Relations Advice Centre is also available to respond to your questions on (08) 9365 7660, or via [email protected] 

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