Workplace relations, Productivity Commission recommendations
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) welcomes the common sense approach taken by the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Workplace Relations.
Contrary to fears expressed today that penalty rates could be abolished by the Federal Government; the Productivity Commission recommendations are about updating our Sunday penalty rates in line with a changing Australian society.
Contrary to the claims of unions, the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into workplace relations will not see the end of penalty rates altogether.
Rather, this is an opportunity to achieve a more sensible approach to how penalty rates are applied so small and medium businesses can continue to thrive and employ.
The majority of Queensland businesses (61 per cent) support or strongly support the continued regulation of penalty rates but with reduced loadings.
Reducing penalty rate loadings can be easily implemented and would create an incentive for businesses to increase employment hours.
Penalty rates as they stand are a drain on productivity and Queensland business competitiveness and reform is long overdue.
A CCIQ survey found that the majority of small businesses in the hospitality sector (76 per cent) and retail sector (74 per cent) reduce operating and employment hours as a result of penalty rates.
As a consequence of the current penalty rate system, many small and medium businesses choose not to trade on particular days of the week or statutory holidays.
This is a significant issue particularly for those businesses operating in the hospitality, retail and tourism industries that operate for seven days or outside standard trading hours.
CCIQ believes a practical approach to penalty rates is needed which reflects the contemporary 24/7 nature of our economy.
Workplace relations impacts on every business, in every industry and in every region of our state.
Queensland businesses want a workplace relations framework that meets the needs of their contemporary workplaces and positively impacts on their productivity and competitiveness. This will allow the balance to be right benefiting both employers and employees.
The Final Productivity Commission Report can be found at: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/workplace-relations/report