Research shows Red Tape has Employers Walking on Eggshells
Only 1 in 3 employers are confident they are compliant with the Fair Work Act according to the Employsure Workplace Index, conducted by the largest workplace relations firm in Australia.
Further, 20 per cent admit they know very little or nothing at all about the Fair Work Act.
Employsure’s Managing Director, Ed Mallett, said: “We receive over 600 calls a day from employers confused by what they are required to do to meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act leaving themselves exposed to penalties, fines, and serious legal costs.”
The Employsure Workplace Index of over 500 Australian small and medium sized businesses highlighted the three key issues for employers as:
- staff calling in sick
- how to end employment, and
- the complexity of workplace laws
According to Ed, “We found 86 per cent of small businesses don’t fully understand their obligations as an employer under Fair Work, so it’s not surprising that employers lose 60% of unfair dismissal cases. They are exposing their businesses to financial risk.”
Kieron Prenter, owner of Mexicano Bar and Restaurant said: “Why should I be made to walk on eggshells in my own business? I want to be able to employ good staff, treat them well, and provide a good service.”
“With so much red tape, it feels like I’m set up for failure. Laws need to be reformed and should be simplified so employers like myself, wanting to do the right thing, can understand what we’re required to do.”
The research also revealed 1 in 4 employers find it difficult to calculate the correct pay, entitlements, and interpret the Modern Awards for their business. In addition, only 10 per cent of managers are confident they understand the Fair Work Act.
“Trying to keep up with wage changes, sick leave, pay slips, health and safety compliance and everything else, can quickly take half my time away from actually running my business.”
Also of concern is small business employers don’t know where to go to find help with over one third admitting they rely on Google for information on managing their Fair Work obligations.
Kieron says: “I would like to see the government support small business in more ways. We need a supporting hand when managing staff; especially in situations where staff can deliberately sabotage and take advantage of the system.”
Having witnessed many small businesses struggle with compliance, Ed says: “We speak to small business owners like Kieron everyday who would like to see the government get serious about supporting their business and simplifying the Fair Work Act.”