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HIA responds to changes to workplace laws

Media release

HIA responds to changes to workplace laws

Media release
Today, HIA lodged a submission in response to the parliamentary inquiry considering the Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill, warning that it represents significant changes to the industrial relations system.

"Today, HIA lodged a submission in response to the parliamentary inquiry considering the Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill, warning that it represents significant changes to the industrial relations system.

“HIA has opposed the legislation, highlighting that businesses, particularly small businesses are feeling crushed by the weight of regulatory change", said Jocelyn Martin, HIA Managing Director.

“The residential building industry is just starting to turn a corner after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to dissipate. Now is not the time for further disruption via complex regulatory changes that simply add a layer of uncertainty and risk.

“The ambitions set out in the Governments White Paper on Jobs and Opportunities should not be shackled by unnecessary interference with business. Proposals that would expand union rights, empower the Fair Work Commission to deal with business-to-business arrangements, and excessive increases in penalties will simply act as a disincentive to run a business and employ staff.

“While we are pleased that the Government listened to HIA’s concerns that reforms targeted at the gig economy cannot and should not impact independent contracting arrangements in the residential building industry, the themes that emerge from the proposed laws remain of concern.

“HIA sees this parliamentary inquiry process as an opportunity to better understand how some aspects of the legislation might impact independent contractors and the residential building industry. For example, the proposed new jurisdiction of the Commission to deal with unfair contract terms and measures targeted at the road transport industry supply chain.

“The Government’s commitment to build 1.2 million homes over the next 5 years needs a flexible and buoyant housing sector, coupled with policy settings that make employing attractive. Complex and cumbersome change will only serve to do the opposite", concluded Ms Martin.


For more information please contact:

Jocelyn Martin

HIA Managing Director

Melissa Adler

Executive Director - Industrial Relations and Legal Services
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