darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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MODERN AWARD SYSTEM TO IMPACT ON LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES

December 23, 2009

There is concern for the small business community throughout Gippsland due to the Rudd Labor Government’s new ‘modern award’ system which commences on January 1, 2010.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said today that some small business owners in Gippsland are not aware of everything the new ‘modern award’ system entails.

Mr Chester said small business owners have been left in the dark over the new ‘modern award’ system which contains some increased minimum wages, higher penalty rates, and higher allowances, because the most recent changes were announced less than a month ago.

“There are many small business owners across Gippsland that are unsure of how the Rudd Labor Government’s ‘modern award’ system will impact on them and their staff,” Mr Chester.

“The system is due to commence on January 1 but the most recent changes were announced less than a month ago in early December.

“The festive season is one of the busiest times of year for Gippsland small businesses. Many are dealing with customers making last minute gift purchases, new ordering arrangements over the holiday period and not to mention a heavy influx of tourists.

“It is disappointing that the government has given small business owners such a small timeframe during a peak operating period in which to comply with these significant changes.

Mr Chester urged all small business owners to do their best to ensure they are aware of the new changes before they come into effect on January 1.

“The Employment and Workplace Relations Minister promised these new changes would not increase labour costs for business,” Mr Chester said.

“However, the new system does contain some increased minimum wages, higher penalty rates, and higher allowances which will impact on some small businesses especially those in the horticulture, retail and community pharmacy sector.”

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