201412.24

Small Business and the Productivity Commission Review of the Workplace Relations Framework

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Small Businesses and family enterprise are the engine room of Australia’s economy.

We are committed to supporting Australian workplaces to be positive and productive environments for each of the 97% of Australians involved in small business across our nation.

With this commitment at the forefront of our planning, the Government has released the Terms of Reference for the inquiry into Australia’s workplace relations framework. This important review for Australian small businesses and family enterprise will be conducted by the Productivity Commission.

As Small Business Minister, I am committed to ensuring Australia becomes the very best place to build and grow a business. It is important we ensure workers are protected, productivity improvements are encouraged and businesses have the best framework in which to grow and contribute to our economy.

Australian businesses need flexibility to be able to respond to global competition and changes in technology, consumption and employment patterns. The review will assess the impact of the current workplace relations framework and consider what improvements may be needed.

The review will focus on the needs of small business, the ease of navigating the system, job creation, fair and appropriate conditions for employees and issues around productivity, competitiveness and business investment.

Improvements to the productivity of our workforce are imperative to deliver better pay, work opportunities and working conditions in our future. Our ability to continue to improve the standard of living for generations to come relies on our capacity to lift our national income by improving productivity.

Already the review has been welcomed by Business SA, Australian Industry Group and ACCI – all citing the need to evaluate the current arrangements with a view to enhanced productivity growth for our nation’s economy and improved living standards.

This inquiry will be an independent, transparent process and I encourage all small businesses to participate and make submissions.

Submissions can be made to the Productivity Commission at: www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/workplace-relations/

Terms of reference can be found at:
http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/workplace-relations/terms-of-reference