A national meeting of more than 20 employer and business organisations groups has called for an independent review of Australia’s Fair Work laws.
The meeting, held in Melbourne earlier this week, highlighted the level of dissatisfaction surrounding the nation’s industrial relations system.
Convened by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the meeting was attended by IR executives from state-based chambers of commerce and other industry associations.
A resolution was passed endorsing participation in the Federal Government’s 2012 review, but it was noted that the Qantas dispute risked taking focus away from wider impacts on SMEs.
Following the meeting, ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said the Fair Work laws are impeding business efficiency, and imposing higher costs and red tape on small business.
“The organisations confirmed that enough credible data was coming in to make a meaningful and substantive contribution to the 2012 review,” Anderson said.
“This will be done collectively through ACCI, and by individual associations in sectors and regions.”
According to Anderson, the organisations are also of the view that the review must be independent, wide-ranging, and preferably conducted by the Productivity Commission.
The ACCI has called on both the Government and the Opposition to acknowledge the “pressing need for change” because, without amendment, the laws could be a “slow burn” on the economy.