“The Fair Work Commission’s commitment today to improve services and provide more support to small businesses is a good start,” says Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell.
“The Commission has taken into account some of the recently released research showing the current workplace relations system is not transparent and is hard to navigate.
“This has brought about a number of prescribed improvements, some of which align with recommendations in our Workplace Relations Simplification paper, released in April.
“The case management system by trained staff should provide much needed, consistent information and advice to which small business owners can rely and have certainty.
“We are pleased that workplace relations information essential to small businesses will be provided in plain language, at the time and in the form they need.
“The overwhelming view is that the fair work legislation is far too complicated and many of the forms and requirements are completely confusing.
“While the offer of free legal advice in the early stage of contact with the Commission will be useful for many small businesses, we need to remember that members of industry associations already have access to legal advice as part of their membership.
“We look forward to seeing these changes implemented over the next 12 months and would welcome the opportunity of working with the Commission on what we hope is the start of a major overhaul of its systems and processes to make it fair for all.”