We know that many SMEs believe they will be less able to hire and fire under Labor’s policy (last week’s SmartCompany/Roy Morgan Research Opinion Leader’s Poll on the issue confirms as much) and new data released today provides a pointer as to why: less hiring may mean less growth.
Today’s Sensis Business Index shows that although SMEs as a whole tend to support the current IR regime over Labor’s proposal, businesses that have grown to medium size are twice as supportive as small businesses, while SME owners with ambitions for growth over the next 12 months are more than three times as supportive.
By far the main reason cited by business owners for this view is their support for the Coalition’s IR policies, while just over 20% of SMEs surveyed also said their businesses would suffer if pre-1996 industrial relations laws were reinstated. This closely matches recent SmartCompany poll results that showed 33% of business owners would be more reluctant to hire under Labor.
Increasingly, good staff are a key factor in the growth prospects of a business – and bad staff a major growth roadblock. Today’s Sensis Business Index results further support the argument that adding more red tape to the hiring and firing process will make it harder for SMEs – and, therefore, the Australian economy – to grow.