Small business in ‘utter confusion’ over new IR laws: Abbott

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Small business in ‘utter confusion’ over new IR laws: Abbott

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says small business is in a state of ‘utter confusion’ over the Fair Work industrial relations system, and has accused the Federal Government of having a ‘real infatuation’ with the union movement.

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Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says small business is in a state of ‘utter confusion’ over the Fair Work industrial relations system, and has accused the Federal Government of having a ‘real infatuation’ with the union movement.
 
In an interview with radio station 2GB, Abbott said small businesses are now obliged to comply with awards that still haven’t been finally determined.
 
‘Appalling situation’
 
‘They can face fines of up to $33,000 for breaking a law which still is not certain,’ he said.
 
‘Now, this is an appalling situation to put small business in.’
 
‘The Opposition has been calling for some time now for a serious information and education campaign, not a propaganda campaign, and we discover that the Government has allocated $12.5 million for an education campaign but $10 million is to go to a trade union education body.’
 
‘Now, unions have a very low representation amongst the small business workforce and it’s just typical of this Government’s real infatuation with the union movement.’
 
Gift to the union movement
 
‘I guess the fact that they’re so beholden to the union movement [means] that this $10 million isn’t going to educate small business — it’s basically a gift to the union movement.’
 
Abbott said that during the first few months of the new system inadvertent breaches by small businesses should not attract penalties.
 
‘Really it’s the Government’s fault that small business doesn’t know exactly what law at this time it has to comply with,’ he said.
 
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