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19 September 2019

IR reforms crucial to kick-start the economy: Ombudsman

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the government’s concerns about Australia’s overly complex industrial relations system are shared by the nation’s small business community.

Speaking today at CEDA’s “state of the nation” conference, Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter acknowledged a number of recurring themes in stakeholder representations.

“Among the concerns mentioned by Minister Porter were complex awards, delayed resolution of disputes and inconsistency in codes dealing with small business dismissal,” Ms Carnell said.

“Minister Porter went further to say the list of industrial relations issues was long enough to warrant serious attention. I couldn’t agree more.

“Small businesses are telling us they don’t want to hire new staff because the IR system is far too complex to navigate.

“Given the government is serious about creating more jobs, boosting productivity and growing the economy, it needs to simplify the industrial relations system to encourage small businesses to employ more workers.

“Our Review of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code is an important part of this broad discussion because it would provide much-needed clarity to small businesses.

“The government has also flagged plans to release a series of discussion papers on different areas of reform and we look forward to engaging heavily with that process.”