Does the Senate support Small Business – or not?

15 Feb 2019 |

Australia’s largest voice for small business, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is urging the Senate not to recreate mass uncertainty for Australians who work casually and the small businesses that employ them.

“A decision by the Federal Court in August last year (WorkPac v Skene) put the jobs of at least a million casual employees in doubt and exposed small businesses to the risk of massive back pay claims and to being required to pay twice for leave,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“This double dipping was the opposite of Australia’s belief in a “fair go.”

Mr Pearson said that the loophole being exploited following the WorkPac v Skene decision was tackled by the government making a statutory regulation late last year, to shut down double dipping.

“This was a sensible fix to a real and urgent problem in our employment laws,” Mr Pearson said.

“Extraordinarily, the Labor Party now wants to overturn this regulation through a disallowance motion.

“This motion would reopen a loophole to allow double dipping, which could cost businesses and society up to an additional $8 billion, and would threaten the viability of many small businesses, and the casual jobs they provide.

“As we approach the next election, political parties are falling over themselves to prove their credentials in support of small businesses – and about time, too.

“But deliberately recreating legal uncertainty, deliberately unfixing a problem, and unnecessarily exposing small businesses to double pay obligations, flies in the face of claims to support small businesses.

“Small businesses employ most casual workers, and so small businesses are most at risk from this disallowance motion.

“The Australian Chamber urges Senators to reject this attempt to hurt small business.”

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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