The Federal Government’s new Fair Work Act will come into effect from today, replacing the Howard Government’s controversial WorkChoices laws.
The new workplace relations laws will now mean that small businesses will no longer be exempt from unfair dismissal laws, and there will be new standards in place for collective bargaining.
According to Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman David Gregory, a lot of changes have been made and it is difficult for small businesses to keep up.
“These are new legal obligations. Businesses do need to understand what they are all about. They do need to be complying with the changes to these laws.”
Australian Industry Group spokesman Stephen Smith says the workplace relations balance has shifted, and unions have been given more powers; while the Council of Small Business Australia CEO Jaye Radisich has urged all small business owners to seek advice from the Workplace Authority about their rights and responsibilities under the new act, before making any decisions to hire or fire.
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