Media releases

Good IR law key to growing business

8 April 2019

The next Federal Government needs to get its industrial relations policy settings right if Australia is to remain competitive, says the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC).

“Australia has become a costly place for small businesses to hire, retain and manage staff. It is also one of the most heavily regulated labour markets in the world, consistently ranking poorly on flexibility and responsiveness when compared internationally,” says VACC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Gwilym.

VACC’s Federal election manifesto, Keep Australia Moving: Policy priorities from the automotive industry to the next Australian Government outlines four key industrial relations recommendations designed to assist business competitiveness:

  • Ensure payment for domestic violence leave does not become the responsibility of employers
  • Commit to a review of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code and the procedural fairness process
  • Oppose the introduction of additional industrial manslaughter laws across Australian states and territories
  • Exempt group training organisations from any National Labour Hire Licensing Scheme.

“VACC wants people to be safe and secure at work and current occupational health and safety laws cover this. But it’s important that the pendulum does not swing too far, where it becomes prohibitive to employ staff due to excessive liability or labour costs. This is obviously an impediment to growth and further employment,” says Mr Gwilym.

“All stakeholders are connected by employment law – business owners, governments, regulators and employees – but it is only businesses that actually employ people. If industrial relations law moves too far one way it makes it difficult for businesses to grow and employ more staff.

“The next Federal Government should adopt fair and reasonable policies that are business focused – because it works in everyone’s favour,” says Mr Gwilym.


Download VACC’s 2019 Federal election manifesto Keep Australia Moving.

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