Employsure has thrown its support behind the six-step proposal outlined by the AI Group and the Australian Mines and Metals Association as a way to tackle the coming Workplace Relations System Review.
The proposals, outlined in The Australian, present a common sense approach to reviewing Australia’s workplace relations laws, according to Employsure Founder and Managing Director Ed Mallett.
“We’ve been long term advocates for a fairer, more efficient workplace relations system,” he said. “We consistently hear how small business owners are struggling to meet the breadth of their workplace obligations and compliance. The majority of our clients have told us that workplace legislation unfairly favours employees, while also being poorly communicated.
“65% of our clients say that workplace laws are too confusing and 62% say that record keeping has a significant impact in running and growing their business.
“The review should include the disparity of the unfair dismissal system, which can cripple small business by permitting too many vexatious claims. Better criteria for Jurisdictional Objections would also allow ineligible disputes from ever reaching conciliation, which can be a significant and unnecessary burden to business owners.”
The workplace relations consultancy, which represents 24,000 Australian businesses, receives more than 260,000 calls each year covering all aspects of workplace relations. Award interpretations, employee entitlements, wage rates and the Fair Work Act rank amongst the highest pain points for small business owners.
A 2018 survey of its client base revealed the extent to which small business owners are struggling with the cost and impact of workplace relations compliance. Weekly, more than 50% of small business owners spend between 6 and 30 hours on regulatory requirements. 65% find employment compliance difficult, whereas only 39% find taxation compliance difficult. 76% see simplification of workplace laws for small business as a key issue for public policy.
Mallett believes that a fair and efficient workplace relations system is the key to business growth, while protecting employees entitlements, health and safety.
“We believe that workplace relations should be the framework for business success. Safe, fair and complaint workplaces benefit both employers and employees, and legislation should support growth, not prohibit it,” he said.