Tony Abbott has abandoned plans to exempt small business from unfair dismissal laws under the belief that the public has no appetite for workplace reform.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott disappointed employers on Saturday as he pledged not to change federal workplace laws for three years. The Australian cites coalition sources as saying the Australian population has “no stomach” for changes to unfair dismissal laws, with the Liberal party fearful of reigniting the Anti-Work Choices sentiment among the Unions who galvanized support for Labor in the lead up to the 2007 election.
Previously Tony Abbott had proposed an excemption to unfair dismissal laws for employers with less than 20 staff in April, but Abbott’s backflip should come as no surprise to those who see the pressure the Opposition leader is under from the Union movement not to return to Work Choices.
Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout, believes Mr Abbott should seriously consider much needed amendments to the Fair Work Act.
“There are areas in the Fair Work Act where it has been demonstrably shown that amendments are required.”
While backing away from throwing AiG’s support behind any one political party, Ms Ridout stressed the importance for the next Government to consider ‘tweaking’ the Fair Work Act.
“While we are not seeking wholesale changes the next government will need to keep an open mind to amending the act in a number of areas” she said.
Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz told ABC radio that the Coalition’s policy could indeed achieve some of the tweaking desires by AiG.
“We will not be revolutionising, or indeed reforming; we would only be tweaking and that is what our policy will confirm,” Senator Abetz said on ABC radio.