The decision by the Federal Government to table a list of amendments to its own Closing Loopholes Bill has done little to allay the concerns of tradies and, in fact, make a bad Bill worse.
Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said despite rhetoric from Minister Burke that service subcontractors will be exempt from the same job, same pay labour hire changes, they are still caught up in this legislation.
“Alarmingly, the Minister has tabled amendments to give the Fair Work Commission even more powers to rope in other businesses to the same Regulated Labour Hire Order.
“These amendments add further complexity and administrative burdens for businesses.
“Unless businesses have the time and financial means of appearing before the Commission to prove subcontractors should not be captured, they will be by default.
”These amendments are another blow for the building and construction industry who, despite not being the intended target behind this Bill, continue to be caught in the middle of it.
“The cumulative impact of this Bill on the economy will be devastating and will leave the building and construction industry hamstrung in its ability to meet the housing targets set by the Federal Government.
“The Government has failed to understand how building and construction work is performed.
“You can’t amend a few clauses and say concerns with the Bill are fixed when there are 300 odd pages of damaging changes that fundamentally upend how business operates.
“The Bill must be shelved and redrafted with a clear and narrow scope to fix the problems the Government is trying to solve.
“We are disappointed the rights of independent contractors, self-employed Australians, subcontractors, and small business to be their own boss are still at risk,” Ms Wawn said.
Media contact: Dee Zegarac, National Director, Media & Public Affairs
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