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Northern Territory small businesses encouraged to take advantage of tailored AWA program.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

14 July 2005

NORTHERN TERRITORY SMALL BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAILORED AWA PROGRAM

Small business employers across the Northern Territory are being encouraged to take advantage of a new program aimed at increasing the take-up of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) in the small business sector.

Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said “The Office of the Employment Advocate’s Small Business Program will make it easier for small business employers to implement AWAs.”

“No small business is the same and what works in one workplace is not guaranteed to work in another, which is why small business employers have been quick to realise the benefits and flexibility of AWAs,” Fran Bailey said.

“AWAs provide flexible working arrangements which help meet the needs of Australia’s 1.2 million small businesses, 9,100 of which are operating in the Northern Territory.

“More flexibility in the workplace will boost innovation, productivity, employment and encourage a better balance between work and family life.

“The Office of the Employment Advocate’s Small Business Program provides a number of initiatives specifically tailored for small businesses.

These include:

• A dedicated small business telephone advice helpline - 1300 662 871 • A dedicated small business internet portal providing a one-stop-shop for businesses developing AWAs - www.oea.gov.au/smallbusiness • A small business AWA template and kit • A range of information resources designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses • A simplified on-line lodgement process for AWAs

“AWAs have been an important part of the Australian Government’s workplace relations reforms, which have already contributed to the creation of 1.3 million jobs and real wages growth of 13.1 per cent since 1996,” Fran Bailey said.

“They provide a win-win for both small business employers and employees by allowing both groups to directly negotiate terms and conditions which suit their particular circumstances. The individual nature of an AWA means the needs of both the business and the employee can be taken into account.

“I support this important initiative and strongly encourage Northern Territory small business employers to take full advantage of the services available.” Media Contact: Carley Griffith 02 6277 7450 0419 840 452.