Heidi Cooper is the chief executive officer of Business Chamber Queensland

This month we saw significant industrial relations reforms introduced to parliament, which have the potential to impact how Queensland businesses engage and manage their workforces.

We’re concerned these legislative reforms have unintended consequences which are likely to have a compounding impact on an already stretched and stressed business community.

It is essential that workplace conditions are carefully considered and all employees work in the best possible conditions. Our research shows 70 per cent of businesses say inefficient regulation is limiting their growth while the median business cost of complying with inefficient government regulation, or red tape, is $50,000 a year.

Combine that with record high labour and business operating costs, weak forward economic confidence, the ongoing skilled labour shortages and macroeconomic challenges, these IR reforms will add another layer of complexity to running a business.

As a state chamber of commerce, we have been working closely with the Australian chamber and other state and territory chambers to ensure employers are front and centre of decision making around these IR reforms.

We’ve already seen some important changes to the original potential impact through our advocacy, such as small business exemptions on some of the reforms but there is still work to do.

So what happens now? The Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee report on the Bill is due on 1 February 2024, which means Senate debate of the Bill will happen after that time.

We’re working to encourage the Federal Government to reconsider these reforms in the context of their potential compounding impact on employers and the wider economy.

At the same time, we’re working closely with the state’s business and employer community to help them understand these proposed reforms and what they mean for them and their workforces.

It is essential that Queensland businesses needs are at the forefront of any legislative changes which impact the way they operate day-to-day. It is critical Queensland businesses are front and centre of these reforms. For more visit businesschamberqld.com.au

Published in the Courier Mail, September 21, 2023

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020
E: media@acci.com.au

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