WorkChoices rules hindering business: survey

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WorkChoices rules hindering business: survey

The existing WorkChoices IR laws are the second biggest obstacle facing business in Australia after the current chronic skills shortages, according to a recent survey.

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The existing WorkChoices IR laws are the second biggest obstacle facing business in Australia after the current chronic skills shortages, according to a recent survey.

The survey of 250 medium- to large-sized Australian companies by global business consultant Grant Thornton showed that regulation and red-tape scored 32% as a hindrance in business expansion, up from 27% in a similar 2007 survey.

The data records 27% of employers saying employment laws have had the biggest regulatory impact on their ability to expand their business, followed by environmental regulation at 17%, and health and safety laws at 10%.

Regulatory issues

‘Governments need to work more closely with business, and those organisations which understand the privately-owned business sector, to identify their future needs and aim to address the regulatory issues ahead of the need, rather than constantly playing “catch-up”,’ said Tony Markwell, national head of private business services at Grant Thornton.

However, regulation fell well behind the impact of skilled shortages in hindering the growth of businesses at 58%, just below the 59% recorded last year.

Global skills shortages

The Grant Thornton report is part of a wider study of 7400 business owners across 34 countries, which found an average of 37% of businesses being affected by skilled worker shortages, up from 34% in 2007.

Businesses in Thailand were most affected by skills shortages (at 68%), with the Philippines equal with Australia as the country second most constrained by skills shortages (at 58%).


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