One day before major industrial relations legislation is to be introduced into parliament, the government is in a state of serious confusion about how it will operate.

This morning on ABC Insiders, Minister for Workplace Relations Tony Burke gave conflicting answers as to how the legislation would operate regarding the gig economy.

After saying that Airtasker would not be impacted but Mable would, the Minister now appears to accept that Airtasker will be impacted, but failed to explain how this would work with any consistency.

“Tony Burke cannot answer basic questions about whether providers of aged care, cleaning, and gardening services would be impacted differently depending on the platform they use,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.

“It appears that the government is just making it up on the run, making arbitrary distinctions between platforms and occupations, and leaving businesses to deal with the mess.

“The minister has already conceded that these proposals will increase the cost of food and other service deliveries, but we think other legislators will be alarmed that they are being asked to increase the cost of living and add complexity for business.

“Tony Burke dismissed the concerns of business regarding the overwhelming complexity this bill will unleash onto small businesses when doing the payroll.

“A Byzantine awards system with different shifts, overtime, and penalty rates dramatically increases the chance that an employer makes a payment mistake.

“The minister needs to accept that the increased complexity that he is lumping on employers is contributing to wage underpayments.

“If the minister is serious about addressing underpayments, he should start by simplifying the awards system.

“The critical point is that the underlying cause of underpayments in Australia is governments causing hideous complexity in our industrial relations system,” said Andrew McKellar.

ACCI welcomes the government’s decision to limit wage theft laws to deliberate and intentional conduct only.

ACCI also welcomes government listening to calls from ACCI and other business groups to introduce a safe harbour regime, to give employers confidence to self-report underpayments.



Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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