Labor’s IR plan would cut job opportunities

Labor’s industrial relations plan fails to recognise how jobs are created and what Australia needs to retain jobs and support recovery.

Following release of key details in the Opposition Leader’s speech on industrial relations today, ACCI’s workplace relations director Scott Barklamb said: “This is a plan for fewer jobs and closing businesses.”

“It’s a plan to kill off casual employment, something unions are desperate to do, but which will harm young people, small and family business people and local communities.

“Wiping out casual work won’t lead to more part or full time positions, it will lead to fewer jobs and lower pay.

“Job creators know what’s needed to get more people into work. Secure jobs can only come from secure, economically sustainable enterprises, and they rely on employers and employees having options for how they work. Narrowing employers’ options to maintain and create jobs will make it harder for many businesses to survive, let alone grow.

“Many of us got our start in a casual job and many Australians prefer the flexibility and extra pay, over being tied down to permanent employment. Young people can kiss that freedom and opportunity to take their first steps on the career ladder goodbye under Labor’s plan.

“Imposing portable leave entitlements would impose massive new costs on employers and make contingent liabilities and costs absolute from the first day of employment. This will lead to small business owners working more shifts themselves, or cutting opening hours, but it certainly won’t create jobs. This is to say nothing of a new bureaucracy, more paperwork and increased compliance risk for employers. For some businesses, it will all become simply too hard.

“New and innovative 21st Century forms of work would be smothered by an outdated, over-regulated 19th Century industrial relations system. Australians should make the most of home deliveries and Uber rides, and get all the innovative services they can through Airtasker while they can, because the Opposition’s scheme seems intended to try to make it impossible for these platforms to operate in Australia.

“A new Accord could not be built on a policy that makes life even harder for job creators, particularly small and family businesses. Cooperation is very difficult when the facts and data on casual work are wilfully ignored. There is no increase in casual work in Australia, there is no casualisation – the data is absolutely clear.

“An opportunity has been missed to propose ways to increase productivity, competitiveness or job security. For example, there is no proposal to reverse the decline of our enterprise bargaining system.

“If Labor is serious about creating jobs, the first thing they should do is pass the IR Bill already before the Parliament.”

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