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Small Business to Help Shape Industrial Relations Reform

 Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash Australia Logo

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

16 June 2020



As Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business I have travelled across the country talking and listening to small businesses. One of the key issues that is regularly raised is the need for industrial relations reform to further unlock the dynamic potential of small businesses to create more jobs.

As part of the Morrison Government’s JobMaker plan, the Prime Minister identified industrial relations as one of two major areas for reform. The Government has been heartened by the constructive approach of employers, employees, business groups and unions working together through the COVID-19 pandemic to find practical solutions to keeping Australians in jobs.

As small and medium businesses employ over 7 million Australians and will be at the forefront of the nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19, it is important that the views of these business owners are central to these discussions.

Over the next four months, five working groups will discuss, negotiate and come to agreement across key issues. These committees will cover award simplification, enterprise agreement making, casuals and fixed term employees, compliance and enforcement, and Greenfields agreements for new enterprises.

Following the first industrial relations reform roundtable in Sydney, the Morrison Government announced the membership of the five working groups tasked with getting Australians back into work.

Membership of each group will include employer and employee representatives, chosen based on their demonstrated experience and expertise. Each of the five working groups will have a 10 full-time members who will bring practical experiences to the table about how the industrial relations system operates.

A number of organisations representing small businesses have been appointed to the working groups, including the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Hotels Association, Australian Retailers Association and the National Retail Association.

It is important as many small business groups as possible have their views represented in this process. If you wish to participate in presenting a submission or a proposal to a working group, I would encourage you to provide an expression of interest to the Hon Christian Porter MP, Minister for Industrial Relations, by writing to attorney@ag.gov.au.

The purpose of these industrial relations working groups is to explore and find a pathway to sensible long-lasting reform with the goal of creating more jobs front and centre.



Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash signature

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia