Microsoft Team

Peak body, the National Retail Association has slammed the “indecent haste” with which the Federal Government is driving its pro-union workplace reforms, saying the laws must face proper Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Labor Party and Greens today combined to vote down a proposal by Senate crossbenchers to allow a Senate Committee until early next year to consider the implications of the Bill. As a result, the entire consultation process around the laws must be completed in just three weeks.

NRA Interim CEO Lindsay Carroll said such wide-reaching reforms should go through the normal Parliamentary process, including proper scrutiny of the legislation by the relevant committee.

“There is absolutely no need for the Government to ram this Bill through with such indecent haste,” Ms Carroll said.

“These proposals will have very widespread and detrimental impacts on employers, which will almost certainly result in business owners reducing their staff or cutting back hours.

“It defies logic to think that Governments can keep making it harder and harder to employ staff and think that it won’t affect the way business owners respond.

“The only reason to rush the passage of the Bill with such haste would be to avoid proper scrutiny and debate over the likely impacts of these changes.

“If the Government was confident in the merits of its reforms, it would not be afraid to answer questions and hear the concerns of employers.”

Ms. Carroll thanked the Senate crossbenchers for their efforts to allow more time for discussion, particularly ACT Senator David Pocock who attempted to extend the reporting deadline for the Committee Inquiry.

“Sadly, the Government has not shown any more respect for the crossbenchers than they have shown for employers.

“This is a very disappointing start to a crucial legislative process.

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia.  It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

Lindsay Carroll is available for an interview, contact the NRA media unit at 0467 792 013.