Malcolm Turnbull is demanding that the Rudd Government lift the threshold under which small business are exempt from unfair dismissal laws from 15 staff to 25 staff.
Under the current IR regime, businesses with less than 100 staff are exempt from unfair dismissal. But the Rudd Government’s Fair Work bill will reduce the threshold to just 15 employees, including casual and part-time staff.
But business groups and sections of the Opposition are demanding change. Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce and Liberal Senator Sue Boyce want the threshold lifted to 50 full-time equivalent staff.
Turnbull and Opposition workplace relations spokesperson Michael Keenan have hardened their stance, and now want a threshold of 25 full-time equivalent staff.
But Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard has refused to budge on the threshold.
“Our unfair dismissal policy was very clearly detailed…and we have said to senators Fielding and Xenophon and also to the Australian Greens, that what the Government is committed to doing is delivering the things we promised the Australian people,” she said yesterday.
Gillard is expected to release amendments to the Fair Work bill early next week, with negotiations expected to continue this weekend.
Labor prepared to change Fair Work bill