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Julia Gillard and Nick Xenophon argue over small business

Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Nick Xenophon are still arguing over the Government’s new Workplace Relations laws, with the definition of what constitutes a small business up in arms.

Under the Government’s proposed Fair Work Bill, if a workplace has 15 employees or fewer, any one of those workers would be able to apply for an unfair dismissal claim, but the Opposition believes this puts too much pressure on small business.

Senator Xenophon is pushing the Government to increase the number to 20 employees, but the Government is standing firm on it’s position.

Family First Senator Stephen Fielding has also jumped into the fray, proposing that workers employed in small business with fewer than 20 employees be exempt from bargaining provisions, and union right of entry.

ACTU president Sharan Burrow has rebuffed Senator Fielding’s idea believing it would exclude many workers from union representation in the workplace and refuse two million paid workers from bargaining support.

“We urge him to turn away from extreme amendments that are worse than Work Choices and make sure that he does as he did before: stand up for working people and their families,” Ms Burrow said.

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Jessica Stanic

Jessica Stanic

Jessica has a background in both marketing and journalism and is dedicated to making the website the leading online resource for small to medium businesses with ambitions to grow.

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