Government should split omnibus workplace IR bill and start again

06 November 2023

The Business Council urges the Senate to split the Government’s massive omnibus workplace relations bill and support four private members bills to be introduced by Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator David Pocock.

“The Government’s radical workplace relations changes are a threat to jobs, they’re bad for business and bad for workers and they shouldn’t be rushed through the Senate,” Business Council chief executive Bran Black said.

“We strongly support the position taken by Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator David Pocock on splitting these bills and the Coalition’s efforts in calling for more time to properly scrutinise the 800-page omnibus bill. 

“The Government’s wide-ranging IR changes risk sending a wrecking ball through our economy, impacting every business which employs a casual or contract worker.”

Mr Black said passing the four non-controversial parts of the omnibus bill made sense given the widespread support for those changes.

“After one month of Senate hearings, it is increasingly clear the Government’s proposals will create widespread uncertainty, undermine job security and hit Australians already struggling with rising costs of living.

“With more issues becoming apparent by the day, the Government needs to go back to the drawing board and start again.”

The four private members bills are set to be introduced by Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator David Pocock today, picking up the Government’s proposals on:

  • Support for first responders suffering PTSD;
  • Enhanced protections from discrimination for workers experiencing domestic violence;
  • Small business redundancy exemptions in insolvencies; and
  • Extending the role of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to cover silica and silicosis.



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