Release type: Media Release


ACT continues to create uncertainty for small business


The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Minister for Women

The Federal Government remains concerned that the ACT Labor Government’s Secure Local Jobs Code will create unnecessary uncertainty and confusion for small businesses throughout the Territory.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, has raised concerns that the ACT’s Secure Local Jobs Code and model clauses, which are due to take effect in certain industries from 15 January 2019, potentially conflict with federal industrial relations laws, including the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016.

"The unclear changes will makes things harder for business, particularly job creating small businesses, putting them at risk of breaching key workplace laws,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“Small business shouldn’t need a degree in statutory interpretation, or have to hire expensive legal teams to understand their obligations.

"ACT Labor must clarify the interaction between the Secure Local Jobs Code and federal industrial relations laws, so businesses doing ACT Government work can get on with the job.”

The Government is also concerned about changes that undermine its continued commitment to fair and productive workplaces.

“The Coalition is focused on ensuring building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively. That is why we re-established the Australian Building and Construction Commission and implemented a strong Building Code that requires best practice standards for conduct, worker safety and a zero tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol," Minister O'Dwyer said.

“ACT Labor’s approach serves only to heap more compliance costs on small businesses, harming productivity and, ultimately, hurting their bottom line,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.