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Labor support for unfair dismissal law reform.

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Joe Hockey Minister for Small Business and Tourism LABOR SUPPORT FOR UNFAIR DISMISSAL LAW REFORM The Federal Government has announced that it will reintroduce legislation to exempt Australia’s 1.2 million small businesses from the job destroying unfair dismissal laws, the Minister for Small Business, Joe Hockey, said today. Labor has opposed reforms to the job destroying unfair dismissal laws 40 times in the Parliament. But behind closed doors Labor’s Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations, Craig Emerson, told a small business meeting that when he ran a small business he was worried about the impact of the unfair dismissal laws. Craig Emerson even told The Australian “that when he ran a small business he did think about what might happen if he had to dismiss someone.'' (Australian, 27/05/2004) Well join the club. According to the OECD economic survey by D. Harding in 2002: “Unfair dismissal laws in Australia contributed to the loss of about 77,000 jobs from businesses which used to employ staff and now no longer employ anyone.” (27/05/2004) Media reports have also confirmed that Craig Emerson admitted that he didn’t hire someone because of these draconian regulations. According to an AAP story, a businessman at the dinner clearly remembered the Member for Rankin stating that because of the unfair dismissal laws he hadn’t hired somebody; "As I read it in the newspaper this morning that's what I did recall hearing. To the best of my recollection it is what was said at the dinner." (AAP, 27/05/2004) And there were others. The Australian wrote that; “According to several people at the meeting, Dr Emerson then said he had not employed extra staff for his small business because of fears about the unfair dismissal laws.” (27/05/2004) Craig Emerson must now go public with his concerns about this job destroying red tape and vote to support the Federal Government’s reforms to exempt small business from unfair dismissal regulations. Small businesses across Australia will eagerly await Labor’s response. Contact: Sasha Grebe 0408 974 349 1 June 2004