Workplace bill prompts greater fears among WA regional businesses

CCIWA Chief Economist

Aaron Morey

CCIWA’s comprehensive survey reveals that businesses in WA’s regions are especially concerned with key elements of Canberra’s workplace relations bill.

While 85% of metro businesses responded that multi-employer bargaining laws would damage their business, that figure is 94% for regional businesses. This potentially reflects the risk that regional businesses will be dragged into multi-employer deals with larger metro-based businesses, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

There were also higher concerns relating to limits on fixed-term contracts. While 53% of metro businesses identified that limits on their use of fixed term contracts would damage their business, that figure is 61% for regional businesses. Many businesses in the regions rely on fixed-term contracts due to the nature of their local economies and the prevalence of businesses in agriculture and mining. The proposal to limit fixed-term contracts to just two years would particularly hit regional businesses.

For the good of all WA businesses, the Government must address CCIWA’s concerns with key proposals and split the most contentious parts out of this Bill.

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