- Monday, 06 August 2012 09:53
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The accommodation industry is frustrated with aspects of the final report of the Fair Work Act review.
Overall, the review panel of Reserve Bank of Australia board member John Edwards, former federal court judge Michael Moore and workplace relations expert Ron McCallum found the act was working as intended, according to workplace relations minister Bill Shorten.
The "independent" report into has recommended that the government limits the number of public holidays for which penalty rates are payable to 11.
Specifically, the industry is concerned that it has failed to take into consideration the challenges that small accommodation businesses are facing under the current workplace relations regime.
"While we are still digesting the detail of the report, the Accommodation Association of Australia notes that there's no recommendation to change the definition of a small business which currently stands at less than 15 staff (total number)," said the association's chief executive officer, Richard Munro. "In our submission, we called for the definition to be changed to being one that has 20 or less full-time equivalent employees.
"This aspect of the report provides no relief for small businesses, of which there are many in our industry."
However, Mr Munro said he was pleased that the review panel has broadly accepted some of the concerns expressed by the AAA about adverse action claims, individual flexibility arrangements and the unfair dismissal regime. "Recommendations that there is scope for greater cost recovery in unfair dismissal cases in certain circumstances, and that the intention of the employer in adverse action claims will be taken into account, will assist," he said.
"Employers will also benefit from the Fair Work Ombudsman being notified of the existence of individual flexibility arrangements and having a defence available if they believed on all reasonable grounds that the legislative requirements of these arrangements had been met. These are other recommendations in the report which are consistent with the AAA's submission that greater certainty was required in this area."