Howard urges Coalition to reform IR

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Howard urges Coalition to reform IR

Former Prime Minister John Howard has urged the Coalition to bring back individual contracts and to lift the burden of unfair dismissal claims from small business, according to media reports.

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Former Prime Minister John Howard has urged the Coalition to bring back individual contracts and to lift the burden of unfair dismissal claims from small business, according to media reports.

The Australian Financial Review has reported on a speech given earlier this month at an event organised by Westpac Bank.

The former Prime Minister acknowledged that the removal of the ‘no-disadvantage test’ was a mistake but, generally, he argued that the WorkChoices legislation was not bad policy.

He also said that unfair dismissals could damage small businesses that could be caught up in litigation costing them anything up to $60,000.

Return to 1996–2005
 
Howard is quoted as saying:
‘There is no reason why this country should not go back to the workplace system we had between 1996 and 2005, where you had individual contracts. But one addition to that is that you have got to do something about unfair dismissals …

So I hope the Coalition returns to this issue. The timing of that and the handling of that is something I’d leave to Tony Abbott …’
The period noted was the IR system established by the Coalition before WorkChoices.

Treasurer comments
 
Wayne Swan, the Federal Treasurer, in a media interview commented:
‘Now we’ve also seen … some further honesty if you like from Mr Howard talking about how the Liberals ought to bring back WorkChoices. He says “I think we have to address this issue again.”

I think you can bet your bottom dollar that Mr Howard, who was a Liberal Prime Minister for 12 years, is talking about bringing back WorkChoices, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Mr Abbott is bringing back WorkChoices …

We got rid of WorkChoices which was a fundamental attack on wages and working conditions …’
 
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