New IR laws ‘apocalyptic’, say retailers

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New IR laws ‘apocalyptic’, say retailers

The Retailers Association is claiming that the Federal Government’s new IR laws will devastate employment in the retailing sector, with almost 90% of employers contemplating cutting staff numbers.

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The Retailers Association is claiming that the Federal Government’s new IR laws will devastate employment in the retailing sector, with almost 90% of employers contemplating cutting staff numbers.
 
Scott Driscoll, national executive director of The Retailers Association, said an email poll of its 5000 members showed the laws would hit employment prospects in 2010 for workers and small business operators, describing the effect of the new laws as ‘apocalyptic’.
 
He said the email poll asked three questions:
Question 1: As a small business operator, do you believe the Government needs to better explain the full and complete impacts of their new IR laws and put a moratorium in place on prosecuting small business operators, until the new IR laws are properly explained and understood?
Result: 96.47% YES  
Question 2: As a small business operator, have you considered cutting back staff hours in 2010 as a result of increased wages costs following the new IR laws?
Result: 89.41% YES
Question 3: As a small business operator, do the new IR laws give you less confidence that your business will be able to grow in 2010?
Result: 91.76% YES
‘Faceless tyrants’
 
‘To be honest, even I didn’t expect the results of this poll to be as damning as they are,’ Driscoll said.
 
Overwhelming fear
 
‘I have been extremely moved by the overwhelming fear small business owners have of these militant and draconian IR laws being inflicted by the Rudd Government and the faceless tyrants of the Australian trade union movement.’
 
‘We are staring down the path of an oncoming jobs and business failure disaster that is about to result in massive increases to under-employment and outright unemployment, for thousands of Australian families. This is beginning to look apocalyptic now.’
 
Driscoll said his members across Australia have expressed grave fears for the impacts the new IR laws with have on their families, their staff and the very survival of their businesses.
 
‘In addition to 89.41% of small business owners who responded indicating they either had or planned to reduce staff and available employment hours on the back of the new Federal IR laws in 2010, a further massive 91.76% indicated their business would not grow in 2010 also as a direct result if the Federal IR laws,’ he said.
 
‘Ill conceived’
 
‘The Rudd Government must now sit bolt upright and start listening before more Australians are forced onto the unemployment lines as a result of these ill conceived and unsustainable IR laws.’
 
Driscoll also called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to urgently cut short his holidays and rejoin the nation as it faced ‘the imposing threat of these laws, which his deputy Julia Gillard and the ACTU have inflicted’.
 
‘I can’t allow myself to believe that Kevin Rudd could knowingly allow Julia Gillard and the unions to get away with this, if he truly and fully understood what these new IR laws were about to do to thousands and thousands of families right across Australia,’ he said.
 
Bruce Billson, Shadow Minister for Small Business, said the Opposition’s industry consultations support the Retailers Association’s survey results that show the new workplace regime will force nearly two-thirds of small retailers to decrease employment levels, four out of five to restructure their workforce and many to consider closing their doors.
 
‘Broken promise’
 
‘The Rudd Labor Government’s failure to urgently deliver the promised grass-roots education and information campaign on what the dramatic workplace changes mean will be chalked up as another broken promise and another failure to deliver, alongside Julia Gillard’s failure to deliver Labor’s “no disadvantage” commitment to small businesses,’ he said.
 
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