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SMEs looking for IR reform: report

Editorial

Industrial relations reform is the number one business policy priority for the next federal government to follow, according to a survey the Australian Industry (Ai) Group. 

As Inside Retailing reports, the Ai Group survey asked over 330 businesses across the manufacturing, services, and construction sectors to nominate their policy wish list. 

The top five priorities (in order of importance) were:

  1. Industrial relations reform to boost productivity 
  2. Reducing red tape and regulatory duplication 
  3. Reducing company tax rates and implementing tax reform
  4. Investing in physical infrastructure
  5. Encouraging workforce skills and training
IR reform topped the priority list (on a weighted average basis). Specifically, 23.1 per cent of respondents nominated it as their biggest concern. 

Responding to the results, Innes Willox, CEO of Ai Group said that it was unsurprising that IR reform topped the list. 

"As we have been advocating since the Fair WorkAct introduction and in the subsequent reviews of the act, changes are needed in a number of areas to provide greater flexibility to employers and to rebalance the current excessive weight given to Union interests," he said. 

As News.com.au reports, Willex has also called for the number of paid public holidays to be standardised at 11 per year across the nation.
Currently, each state has its own set of public holidays.

If this reform were to be implemented, workers in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania would lose a paid day off as they currently enjoy more than 11 public holidays a year.

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