Billion dollar threat to small business still stands

04 Apr 2019 |

“Hundreds of thousands of Australian small businesses have been left in limbo, not knowing whether or not they will be subject to billions of dollars in double-dipping claims, and whether they can continue to afford to employ casual workers,” James Pearson, CEO of Australia’s largest voice for small business, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said today

“People running small businesses face an anxious wait, to find out whether a critically important Regulation which protects them from double-dipping claims will be maintained or not.

Mr Pearson said the loophole created by the Full Federal Court Workpac v Skene decision had been fixed late last year by the Government.  It made a Regulation to protect employers from up to $8 billion in double-dipping claims from casual workers, for annual leave and redundancy entitlements, which employers had already paid for by paying casual loading.

“Labor stunned small businesses by trying to overturn this Regulation through a disallowance motion which it introduced into the Senate in February. That created uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the country who employ casuals,” Mr Pearson said.

“Small businesses have been left in the lurch, with the issue unresolved and the Senate not likely to meet again until after the election.

“Small businesses employ the vast majority of casual workers, so they are most at risk from this attempt to disallow the Regulation.

“If the Regulation is disallowed, it could send thousands of small business owners to the wall and could see their employees, both permanent and casual, out of work. Many businesses will be forced to stop hiring casuals.

“Australian businesses across the country call on the Opposition to return confidence and certainty to small business by withdrawing its disallowance motion to overturn the Casual Loading Offset Regulation.”

The Australian Chamber is Australia’s largest network of employers, speaking for over 300,000 businesses providing jobs to millions of Australians in every sector of the economy

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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