Small business has not been given a voice in the joint business/union working group that is advising to the Rudd Government on the first tranche of its industrial relations reforms.
In its pre-election policy document, Labor promised to form a business advisory group to provide input into the drafting of industrial relations legislation and to ensure that small business is separately represented on that group.
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But there is no dedicated small business representative on the joint union/business body the Rudd Government is consulting on its transitional IR bill – the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council – which is comprised of representatives from groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business Council of Australia and the Master Builders Association.
Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive Tony Steven said Labor should create more opportunities for small business input into the industrial relation reform process.
“Dedicated small business organisations should be involved at every stage of the process and we would encourage the Rudd Labor Government to actively engage with COSBOA and other small business organisations as a matter of priority,” Steven says.
A spokeswoman for Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard says the promised business advisory group will be consulted on the substantive IR bill, which will deal with matters such as unfair dismissal and the creation of a new industrial relations authority.