Retailers call for debate on IR laws; end to ‘Workchoices’ slur

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Retailers call for debate on IR laws; end to ‘Workchoices’ slur

The Australian Retailers Association says there needs to be room on both sides of politics for open and transparent debate about industrial relations legislation — without the lazy rhetoric of change simply being a return to ‘WorkChoices’.

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The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says there needs to be room on both sides of politics for open and transparent debate about industrial relations legislation — without the lazy rhetoric of change simply being a return to ‘WorkChoices’.
 
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said both employers and unions advocate for change to industrial relations law.
 
‘No system is perfect and there needs to be informed debate from all parties to ensure the Fair Work Act is delivering on promises,’ he said.
 
Nonsense
 
‘If there is a call for change, to simply imply it is a return to the past is nonsense.’
 
‘We call on the Government to ensure a focus back on the mandate it claimed when the Fair Work Act was introduced.’
 
‘At that time, the Government indicated the laws should be “fair for working Australians” as well as “enable co-operation and collaboration in individual workplaces to be the means to deliver productivity, growth and sustainable Australian businesses”,’ Zimmerman said.
 
‘Employers can see that the laws are fair for employees but it is equally important to place emphasis upon productivity, growth and business sustainability.’
 
Zimmerman said ACCI director — Workplace Policy, David Gregory, recently added voice to this and wrote:
‘… there needs to be legitimate, ongoing process of debate and discussion about the appropriate nature of Australia’s workplace relations system in a modern contemporary context.’
Right balance
 
‘The ARA fully backs Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey’s view that dismissal laws for small business and prescriptive rules on minimum hours of work should be targeted by the Coalition as future workplace reform areas,’ he said.
 
‘Clearly an appropriate safety net is a critical part of the picture but we need to strike the right balance between fairness and productivity, growth and sustainability.’
 
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