Franchise Council wants fair go from unions

THE Franchise Council of Australia is hoping the Federal Government’s Fair Work reforms that come into effect this month will not be misused by unions with bullying tactics.

FCA executive director Steve Wright, says the biggest changes for business will be from January 1 next year with the introduction of ‘award modernisation’, but greater access to the workplace for unions has the potential to cause problems.

“If that access is handled irresponsibly by unions then there could be effects on productivity and efficiency, but I hope that’s not going to be the case and they will act responsibly,” says Wright.

“The real hip pocket impact on business will be the changes on January 1st with the award modernisation changes – this is causing considerable concern for small business, franchisees and franchisors, particularly in the retail sector where employees work after hours.

“But with the changes as of July 1 there shouldn’t be any major implications as this is a process issue – these changes are about unfair dismissal which is something employers approach seriously already.”

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Julia Gillard says the Fair Work Act brings a ‘fair go’ to Australian workplaces, as a genuine safety net and a fair way of bargaining for productive enterprise agreements.

“The end of the Howard government’s extreme and unfair WorkChoices laws marks the start of Fair Work, a new era in Australian workplace relations,” says Gillard.

“The new workplace relations system is designed to balance the needs of employees and employers to ensure Australia is competitive and prosperous, without taking away basic employment rights and guaranteed minimum standards.

“Enterprise level bargaining will be the primary means of driving future workplace improvements and productivity.

“The Fair Work Act brings back the ‘fair go’ to Australian workplaces, a genuine safety net and a fair way of bargaining for a productive enterprise agreement.”

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