Small business shuns WorkChoices

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Small business shuns WorkChoices

Only 9% of small businesses plan to make any changes to their approach to employment or pay and conditions as a result of the new IR legislation, a survey released today reveals.

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Only 9% of small businesses plan to make any changes to their approach to employment or pay and conditions as a result of the new IR legislation, a survey released today reveals.

The MYOB Australian Small Business Survey found 40% of small businesses believe the new WorkChoices legislation is unfair to many employees, with low-skilled workers the most affected.

MYOB Australia Managing Director Tim Reed said the 'surprising results' indicate that small businesses are aware of the importance of their employees and the communities they operate in and 'don't want to damage those relationships'.

No boost to productivity

The report also revealed that one third of small businesses believe their productivity will not increase as a result of WorkChoices - only 12% indicated that there would be an increase in business productivity. Only 5% of small business respondents 'strongly agree' WorkChoices will make them more likely to hire new employees, while 31% disagreed.

AWAs

Asked whether AWAs should be abolished, one quarter of small business agreed, while 49% indicated they should be kept (26% undecided).

Alarmingly, 40% of business owners rated their knowledge of the legislation as 'poor' or 'low'.

'Damning' stats

MYOB's Reed said the Federal Government would have expected greater support of this legislation from its traditional small business supporter base.

'These must be damning statistics for the Federal Government that has "sold" this new legislation to small business on its productivity gains and increased employment,' he said.

The survey is a national report of small business proprietors and general managers conducted quarterly - for the previous quarter a special focus survey report was also conducted on industrial relations.

Survey confirms union fears

ACTU president Sharan Burrow said this latest survey shows that small businesses are 'worried' about the impact of WorkChoices on their own employees.

'Small businesses have traditionally been big supporters of the Howard Government, but this survey shows that many are now turning their backs on the new workplace laws.

'The independent report shows that the Federal Government's new industrial relations laws have nothing to do with helping the economy and everything to do with increasing big business profits at the expense of the job security, working conditions, wages and living standards of working families.'

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