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Fair Work fails small business: Billson

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, has hit out at the Rudd Government over its new Fair Work regime, after the results of an Australian Retailers Association (ARA) survey revealed that many small business retailers still do not understand their obligations under the new workplace regime, with many believing it will place a financial burden on their business.

The ARA survey of 150 retailers found that that 72 percent of respondents do not fully understand their obligations under the Fair Work Act, and of those, 42 percent weren’t sure of the financial and other implications on their business. Many expect to see wage and operating costs to increase and more than 4 in 5 retailers still have work to do to comply with the new workplace regime.

According to Billson, the survey highlights the fact that the Rudd Government has failed to deliver its promise to the small business community that modern awards would not “disadvantage employees” or “increase costs to business.”

“The findings strongly endorse repeated calls from the Opposition and small business community for practical information and support to implement the new workplace regime,” he said.

The Federal Government recently announced a $10 million handout to unions for education programs to help workers and businesses learn about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Work laws, a move which has been slammed by Billson.

“The unions have been very involved, they’ve had a seat at the table with Julia Gillard as these changes have been negotiated… who’s been left out and neglected? The small businesses,” he said.