Outrageous beat up by The Australian. SmartCompany replies

This morning we are led to believe by The Australian newspaper that small and medium businesses around the country are running out to sack staff. And apparently it is at SmartCompany’s urging.

What nonsense. SmartCompany readers and most SME owners are passionate about their staff. They know businesses live and die according to the commitment, passion and loyalty of their team. Business growth does not come without committed and engaged staff. In fact, day in, day out we at SmartCompany work hard to satisfy the business owner’s inexhaustible appetite for information on how to build a great culture, how to keep their staff and how to hire in a skills shortage.

The last thing business owners ever want to do is sack anyone. In fact they hate it. They tell us it is the worst part about being a business owner.

But unfortunately – and occasionally – the hard decision needs to be made to move a difficult staff member on for the benefit of the team. And if business owners are in the situation where that is the case, then, yes, as we point out, it is better to act now before the laws come into effect.

SmartCompany points out that the new unfair dismissal laws will make it harder to move “unsuitable” staff on and that there could be increased legal costs and go away money as a result. Hardly the stuff of front page news.

But it gets worse. ACTU president Sharon Burrow is reported in the story as saying that small businesses would be appalled to think that staff they have had for quite a long time would suddenly be feeling insecure because they were being urged to sack them. Yes, they would Ms Burrow, if it were true. But why on earth would small business owners be thinking of sacking long time workers? They are desperately trying to retain them and thinking how to hire more workers.

SmartCompany has been taken out of context this morning. Fortunately there are now more alternative sources for business readers tired of such beat ups.

I urge you to read our story Rudd’s Labor: Dollars and dangers for SMEs this morning. It is an even handed appraisal of both the opportunities and threats for small and medium business under the Rudd Labor Government.

What do you think? Send your comments to feedback@smartcompany.com.au


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