Small business blindsided by rushed IR reforms: FCA to flag concerns at Senate inquiry

FCA IR reforms concerns
FCA CEO Mary Aldred with Garth Hamilton MP at Parliament House. Image supplied.

The Franchise Council of Australia will take its concerns about industrial relations reform to a Senate inquiry this Friday.

Mary Aldred, FCA CEO, wants more time to review the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022.

“This Bill represents the most significant reforms ever introduced to the Fair Work Act. Given the potential impact on our economy, employers and employees – the government should not rush the legislative process,” said Aldred.

FCA reveals IR reforms concerns

“This legislation was only publicly released on the 27th of October and the government has already circulated 150 amendments in response to community and business feedback. This demonstrates that a longer consultation and review process is required,” she said.

“Australian small businesses need to focus on recovering from two years of Covid disruption and cannot afford to be weighed down by complex industrial relations rules.”

Aldred said the FCA will work “constructively and in good faith” with the government, crossbench and broader business community to improve the legislation.

Ahead of the Senate inquiry appearance, the FCA conducted a small snap survey of franchisee members.

The findings revealed 68 per cent of respondents were unclear about the proposals. They did not understand the proposed industrial relations changes or know how they might impact their business operations.

Of those who said they understood the proposed reforms, 55 per cent had concerns, particularly about the multi-employer bargaining provisions.