FW Act ‘confusing and not functioning well’

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FW Act ‘confusing and not functioning well’

The small business employers’ body has backed calls for a review of the Fair Work Act, saying it is not functioning well and confuses employees and employers.

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The small business employers’ body has backed calls for a review of the Fair Work Act 2009, saying it is not functioning well and confuses employees and employers.

The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) said that in these times of economic uncertainty certainty was needed in the engine room of the economy, the small business workplace.

Yesterday, ACCI raised the heat in the IR free-form debate, saying productivity was being stifled by the newly regulated labour market.

Peter Strong, executive director of COSBOA, said the council supported the need for an early review of the Fair Work Act.

Costing jobs
 
‘The current system is costing jobs, is confusing and causing mistakes to be made and is certainly not friendly to small business people or their employees,’ he said.

‘When big business associations and the head of the RBA notice the problem then you can be assured [it] has been around a long time and is impacting on people in small business in a disproportionate way.’

‘There are many examples of people missing out on Sunday and public holiday employment because the Fair Work Act added penalties that often made employment on those days to be unprofitable.’
 
‘People who can work on those days, and often only on those days, are university students, school students and stay at home mums and dads.’
 
‘These are people who need work to get money to survive. That work has been taken from them by the current workplace policies.’

Unfairness
 
Strong said COSBOA knows that a review will identify anomalies and unfairness in the current awards and allow changes to be made now, when they are needed.

‘The review will also highlight the fact that no employer can get a definitive statement on how much to pay their employees yet the employer can be fined for getting it wrong,’ he said.
 
‘This is unacceptable.’

‘For too long the processes have been designed by big business and unions to meet their particular needs, and the needs of small business were neglected.’
 
‘Small business makes up over 90% of all employers, there are some one million of us, and we employ about half the workforce.’
 
‘Our needs are much more important than big business who have pay clerks and the like to manage their processes. In these times of economic uncertainty let’s add some certainty to the workplace.’
 
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