‘Go slow’ Shorten urged to ‘get on’ with FWA reforms

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‘Go slow’ Shorten urged to ‘get on’ with FWA reforms

The Federal Opposition has urged IR Minister Bill Shorten to ‘stop dragging his feet’ and respond to the Fair Work Review — but it seems they will have longer to wait because Shorten is still consulting.

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The Federal Opposition has urged IR Minister Bill Shorten to ‘stop dragging his feet’ and respond to the Fair Work Review — but it seems they will have longer to wait because Shorten is still consulting.

Yesterday, he met with small business representatives as part of ‘ongoing consultations’.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Small Business Brendan O’Connor, and the general manager of Fair Work Australia.

Vexatious claims
 
Shorten said the government is considering recommendations to enhance Fair Work Australia’s ability to deal with unfair dismissal claims, and to ‘provide disincentives for frivolous or vexatious unfair dismissal claims’.

He said reduction in regulation achieved through the award modernisation process would also be of benefit to small business.

Shorten said the meeting was a ‘further opportunity’ to consult on the Review’s recommendations, which indicates that the review process still has some way to run.

However, the Opposition thinks it is all taking too much time when changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 are urgently needed.

‘It’s time for Workplace Relations [Minister] Bill Shorten to stop dragging his feet with the response to the Fair Work Review as he enters his fourth month of consideration,’ said shadow IR minister Eric Abetz.

‘Still waiting’
 
‘Shorten received the Review in early July and released it publically in August — yet despite promises that we would receive his response shortly thereafter, we’re still waiting,’ he said.

‘Despite the Review predictably falling well short of expectations in areas such as Australia’s productivity challenge, the Coalition has already committed to supporting a majority of the Review’s recommendations, many of which are straightforward and would be acceptable to most Australians.’

‘It is becoming clear that Shorten is having trouble getting approval from the ACTU bosses, instead of taking decisions in the best interests of both workers and employers.’

Senator Abetz described the majority of the Reviews’ recommendations as ‘no-brainers’.

‘Instead of pandering to his union boss comrades, Bill Shorten should act in the national interest and release the Government’s response to the Review,’ he said.
 
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