CCIQ EAL team hits the road to meet with members in Cairns
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s Employer Assistance Line team travelled to Cairns last week to meet with members and discuss industrial relations issues facing small businesses.
EAL advisor Nick McPhee said North Queensland businesses were vocal on a number of issues relating to industrial relations, but none more so than the new anti-bullying legislation, which came into effect on January 1 this year.
“There was definitely a lot of uncertainty among members in relation to the new legislation, particularly given the Fair Work Commission has only issued one order since the legislation became effective,” Mr McPhee said.
“The major concern was the extent to which the new laws could be applied, including in relation to incidents which occur outside of normal working hours and off the actual work site.
“This was a good opportunity to discuss these concerns with business owners in the region and provide some clarification around some of the more complex aspects of the legislation.”
The changes were met with strong opposition from the business community when first introduced by the former Gillard Government, but the legislation now in place businesses must be aware of their obligations.
Mr McPhee said businesses also wanted to discuss WorkCover and the changes introduced by the State Government late last year.
“Industrial relations is one of, if not the most important responsibilities in any business and it is critical that SME’s are aware of their compliance requirements,” he said.
“The Employer Assistance Line service gives members an opportunity to phone the team and discuss their concerns in relation to human resources and industrial relations issues.
“The Fair Work Act is one of the most complex pieces of legislation in the country and where large businesses have the finances and resources to have full-time HR departments, small businesses simply do not.”
To find out more about the CCIQ Employer Assistance Line, visit this page.