New IR laws will hit small retailers hard

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New IR laws will hit small retailers hard

Labor’s new workplace laws will force many small retailers out of business, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

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Labor’s new workplace laws will force many small retailers out of business, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
 
ARA executive director Richard Evans said the one-size-fits-all approach to the Fair Work Bill is ‘old-world thinking skewed towards the practices of large employers and ignores the need for flexibility within a small retail business’.
 
‘Coupled with union demands on bigger employers, the Bill will close many local stores — opportunity for employment will be lost and only less risk taking retailers well enter the market,’ Evans said.
 
Not equipped to cope
 
‘Small business is not equipped to cope with the new industrial relations system, including average retail wage bill increases between 11% and 22%.'
 
‘The limitations of SMEs, including small retailers, have not been considered in the final drafting of the Fair Work Bill.'
 
‘We have to consider the combined effect of the National Employment Standards, the new modern retail award, the Fair Work Bill and an environment of economic instability.'
 
‘Retailers will now be confronted with an industrial relations environment which pays lip service to employer rights and provides unprecedented power to unions who may have no union members in a retail establishment.'
 
Drive up costs
 
‘This will drive up direct and indirect labour costs and close small retailers unable to create wealth for the economy under the new system.’
 
Evans said the combined effect of the National Employment Standards, the new modern retail award, the Fair Work Bill and an environment of economic instability had to be considered.
 
‘Retailers will now be confronted with an industrial relations environment which pays lip service to employer rights and provides unprecedented power to unions who may have no union members in a retail establishment,’ he said.
 
‘This will drive up direct and indirect labour costs and close small retailers unable to create wealth for the economy under the new system.'
 
Higher wage bills
 
‘Fair Work Australia’s ultimate ability to determine the terms and conditions of employment is a costly load for SME retailers who are already expecting to have higher wage bills and payroll obligations with the new modern retail award,' Evans said.
 
‘In fact, the ARA anticipates a real increase in SME retail wage bills brought about by the new modern awards (average of 14% or $28,500 nationally) and a wages breakout as implied by union leaders as a result of the Fair Work Bill.’
 
Evans said the proposed Bill discriminates heavily against small business — the engine room of Australia’s economy.
 
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