John Durie: COSBOA chief says IR reforms could represent a barrier to new jobs

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The political breakthrough over the government’s industrial relations reform has left small business very concerned about the consequences and could represent a barrier to new jobs according to Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) chief Alexi Boyd.

Boyd told SmartCompany she would continue to fight for changes noting the bill was not yet law.

Over the weekend the government reached an agreement with ACT Senator David Pocock, making the package much more likely to pass.

COSBOA joined advertisements in the media Monday against recommendations made to the COSBOA council from Boyd.

In a memo to her board seen by SmartCompany, Boyd recommended against joining the campaign saying “it ties us to big business too closely “ and “I think it would burn too many bridges with the current government”.

The memo said the request to join the campaign came from Minerals Council chief Tanya Constable.

The board rejected Boyd’s arguments continuing long-running disagreements with the COSBOA chief on industrial relations issues.

When asked about the memo Boyd told SmartCompany ”I don’t comment on internal matters”.

One board member noted the organisation was there to represent small business and not the government.  

Boyd said talks with members Monday showed there was strong concern against the industrial relations bid, but she said there were at least some changes and COSBOA welcomed the commitment to annual reviews of the modern award.

The modern award sets minimum terms and conditions for industry sectors.

The changes raise the exclusions for small businesses to more than 50 people, but Boyd said “ the changes were meant to improve productivity but there is no explanation how this works”.

“The bill is still very large and complex and this makes it hard for small business,” Boyd said.

She told SmartCompany COSBOA would maintain its fight against the proposed changes.

Read More: John Durie: COSBOA chief says IR reforms could represent a barrier to new jobs

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