The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, fears that the move by Labor to restore ‘double dipping’ for casuals could be a sign of things to come if a Shorten Government is elected in May.
This follows a motion put by Labor’s Doug Cameron in the Senate yesterday, which would restore the rights of casual workers to claim annual leave entitlements despite having already been paid a causal loading for the exact same reason.
Even more terrifying for Australia’s 2 million small and medium businesses is the risk that this Labor Party motion could open the door for back pay claims going back six years, potentially exposing small and family businesses to crippling claims.
“Mr. Shorten was a union leader once, and he would have cut his teeth in a system that was always designed to ensure fairness to all parties in our workplace relations system,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“It is an Australian value that we hold dear, not to rip someone off, as we all saw in the recent Banking Royal Commission, and clearly using a loophole in the Fair Work legislation to allow a worker to get paid twice for the same entitlement is not what Australians stand for,” Mr. Beard said.
“If this becomes the law, it could send thousands of small business owners to the wall, and see their employees, both permanent and causal, out of work.
“Small business owners symbolise our proud history of ‘having a go’ and they try to do the right thing, but we can’t keep making it more difficult for them to create jobs for other Australians.
“This proposed change would have a very destructive effect on the Tourism and many other industries on the Mid North Coast.
“The Mid North Coast already has a higher unemployment rate than the state average with significant youth unemployment problem so the question is, how is this policy going to help? It isn’t is it, it’s obviously just going to make things worse
“Our local business community is already being crunched by high costs – electricity costs surge higher by the day, they’re being crunched by drought, we’ve got State Labor threatening to lift payroll taxes and now Federal Labor wanting to make it harder to employ people as well.
“We need to help business employ and help our young people get jobs – not sentence them to long-term unemployment and poverty
“The role of any Federal Government, regardless of the party in charge, should be to make it a better country for all of our citizens and not just about trying to appease the ACTU,” Mr. Beard said.
February 15, 2019