"The Federal Government's amendments tabled in parliament today unfortunately do little to allay a raft of significant and growing employer concerns with the Closing Loopholes Bill. In various respects they make a bad bill worse," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"While there appear to have been efforts to address industry concerns over some discrete parts of the Bill, it is far from clear that the alternative approach will be effective. They certainly won't be sufficient to meet concerns the overall proposals will cost jobs, remove worker-desired flexibility and put a further handbrake on productivity. We need to examine the details of the complex suite of changes, but it appears to be a case of one step forward, two steps backwards.
"The hurriedly prepared amendments, clearly developed without proper consultation, barely touch the surface of fixing the myriad of deficiencies in the hundreds of pages of complex legislation adding to the existing 1200 page Fair Work Act.
"The Bill remains confusing, costly and in various respects simply unworkable. The Government needs to constructively engage with industry over proposed radical change to our IR system and genuinely listen to industry's concerns, not go to war with it.
"The Government needs to do better than trying to give the union movement a Christmas present by delivering their entire agenda in one fell swoop.
"We all know the Government claims a mandate for change but a few vague lines in a policy document on labour hire and casual employment do not give a free pass for poorly thought through, job destroying proposals.
"Industry remains ready and willing to genuinely consult and work with the Government on their proposals and our suggestions for improvement," Mr Willox said.
Tony Melville – 0419 190 347