Australia’s chambers of commerce have penned an open letter to senators, pleading with them to either split or kill the government’s proposed workplace relations overhaul.
With the Labor government aiming to pass the bill before the year is out, the letter blasts the timeframe on the bill as “absurdly short” and says jobs and businesses are in jeopardy if it becomes law.
It’s signed by Australia’s national, state and territory chambers of commerce, and calls on senators to try and split controversial elements out of the bill and pass some straightforward changes as soon as possible.
If that can’t happen, they want senators to oppose the bill in its entirety.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, businesses are dealing with surging energy costs, rising interest rates and face serious global economic headwinds,” the letter reads.
“The last thing we need is for jobs to be in jeopardy because of rushed new rules and red tape.”
The letter outlines business concern multi-employer bargaining changes will “drag them into a complex system they can’t afford”.
They also say higher costs will drive inflation and push up interest rates, and “one-size-fits-all” wages will undermine flexibility and productivity.
“We all share the ambition of wage growth, but lifting productivity is the way to do this, not by taking control away from businesses and their employees,” it reads.
“Some employers will cut back on ambitions to grow. Others will be forced to close their doors.”