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Increased fairness and flexibility for small business.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

27 March 2006

INCREASED FAIRNESS AND FLEXIBILITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS An era of increased fairness and flexibility for Australian small businesses will be ushered in today with the implementation of the Howard Government’s new workplace relations laws, WorkChoices.

“Unfair dismissal laws, in particular, had caused inordinate expense, delay and frustration for small business operators - and been a major barrier to further small business growth in Australia,” Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, said today.

“Small businesspeople don’t want to be dragged into costly and unnecessary disputes with employees, but instead to be able to put more Australians into work and to create mutually beneficial workplace arrangements.”

WorkChoices takes the unfair dismissal monkey off the back of small business. Central to the changes delivered by the WorkChoices Act which commences today will be the introduction of a more streamlined agreement making system between employers and employees.

“Small businesses rely for their success on being creative, flexible and innovative - and the changes in WorkChoices will help small businesses to better pursue these goals by being able to reach agreements with their employees tailored to the needs of their workplace,” Fran Bailey said.

The introduction of the Workplace Relations Amendment (WorkChoices) Act reinforces the Government’s commitment to progressive labour market reform, and its determination to deliver policies that create more jobs and higher wages for Australians.

“The changes delivered through WorkChoices will help boost small business growth, employment and productivity in Australia,” Fran Bailey said.

To help small businesses better understand the changes, a series of seminars about the WorkChoices reforms will be rolled out across the country over the coming months.

Further information about the seminars, which begin on 3 April, is available from www.workchoices.gov.au/events.

Media Contact: Kevin Lowe, 02 6277 7450 or 0408 404 468.