New IR laws a ?saviour
By LEONIE BRANN
CLAIMS small businesses will be caught up in red tape and additional operation costs complying with new industrial relations laws, have been rejected by a Kingscliff accountant.
Brian Lewis, the principal of accountancy firm Brian Lewis and Associates, believes the Work Choices industrial relations laws will save, rather than cost his small business money because it encourages more flexibility in the workplace and co-operation between employer and employee.
He rejected claims by NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca, who visited the Tweed last week, that small businesses would spend more time, and therefore money, on completing the necessary documentation to comply with the laws that will change employment conditions for about 85 per cent of Australian workers.
He said after attending a seminar held in Tweed Heads last week by employer group Australian Business Limited (ABL), he felt he better understood how the laws would affect his business.
"If businesses do their homework, and use some of the resources available to them through business groups like ABL, all they will need to do is fill in the blanks to comply with the changes," he said.
Mr Della Bosca said the new Work Choices legislation required small businesses to keep more detailed information about employees like their hours of work and annual leave entitlements, among other extra paperwork that will need to be completed.
"This will mean businesses are spending more time complying with the new legislation - and after all time is money," he said.
"The legislation is meant to make things easier for small business, rather than increase the paperwork they will need to complete.
"Work Choices will do absolutely nothing to make businesses more profitable and successful. It will result in business owners drowning in a sea of red tape."
Business development manager for ABL Sharon Cadwallader rejected the minister's claims, instead saying in a competitive economy most business would already keep detailed information about their employees and business costs.
"An astute business person would already keep extensive records about an employee anyway, so it should be no problem complying with the new changes," she said.
Mrs Cadwallader said more about information about Work Choices can be found at www.australianbusiness.com.au.