Let employers make workers into contractors, ACCI  		urges

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Let employers make workers into contractors, ACCI urges

A leading business organisation has suggested amendments to the Federal Government's new independent contractors legislation that will allow employers to 'restructure' their business and move employees onto individual contracts.

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A leading business organisation has suggested amendments to the Federal Government's new independent contractors legislation that will allow employers to 'restructure' their business and move employees onto individual contracts.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) told a Senate committee that, with amendment, new national laws on independent contracting 'will strengthen participation and flexibility in the labour market'.

Key areas of amendment to the legislation outlined by ACCI are:

  • Commercial contracts should not be judged as unfair by comparing remuneration paid
    between contractors;
  • Courts should not be allowed to re-write a commercial contract simply because a
    contractor changes his/her mind about its suitability;
  • New offences dealing with 'sham' contracting should not have a reverse onus of proof that requires an accused body to prove its innocence;
  • Where a business restructure is genuine, employers should be able to offer work to
    employees as independent contractors;
  • Unions should have rights of representation, but not to prosecute offences

'Laws that remove obstacles for people becoming their own boss and allow them to work on a flexible basis, such as through contracting, will meet one of our national challenges - to increase participation and retain skills in the face of an ageing population,' Peter Hendy, Chief Executive, of ACCI said.

Not force

'The focus of the Bills is on distinguishing between employment and contracting. This will add clarity and certainty to rights and obligations.

'These laws will not force people into contracting arrangements.'

Hendy said the ACCI submission is that 'an efficient labour market will have a dynamic mix of contractors and employees. Independent contracting may not be for every job or the preference of every worker; however it meets important economic and social goals'.

Full submission

The full ACCI submission.

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