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Unfair dismissal, penalty rates, overtime: Abbott to act on real small business agenda after the election

19 August 2013 By ACTU

Tony Abbott's plans for small business will only be fully unveiled after the election when the Coalition reviews the Fair Work Act to pave the way for cuts to penalty rates, overtime and unfair dismissal protections, the ACTU said today.

The policy on red tape and competition laws announced today is only part of the story, said ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver.

"Business groups are already responding and saying 'thanks, but what about penalty rates and unfair dismissal laws'.

"We know Abbott plans to deliver for them, with the Productivity Commission review of the Fair Work Act giving business groups a platform to go after workplace entitlements.

"The Coalition has also said it is open to backing an employer application to the Fair Work Commission to abolish penalty rates.

"This is the Coalition's real agenda for business."

Cutting penalty rates would be an own goal, cutting billions out of the economy with a particular impact on small business, said Mr Oliver.

"People are employees at one business, but customers at many others.

"Nearly half the Australian workforce is entitled to penalty rates and cutting them would take billions of dollars worth of consumer spending out of the economy.

"Working families will not spend on eating out, new clothes and extras for the kids if they can't pay the bills."

Contact: Ben Ruse 0409 510 879 or Eleni Hale 0418 793 885

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400
More info: ASU Federal Election 2013 Resources Webpage