Retailers call on Migrant Workers Taskforce to help small business protect workers
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Retailers call on Migrant Workers Taskforce to help small business protect workers

October 04, 2016

The National Retail Association has called on the newly formed Migrant Workers Taskforce to present proposals that assist small business in protecting migrant workers from being exploited by employers.

Federal Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, today announced a new Migrant Workers Taskforce, to be chaired by Professor Allan Fels AO, that will provide advice to the Government on how to better protect overseas workers.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that the current laws can be quite confusing and that proposals from the Taskforce should serve to help small business better understand the complex legal framework for workplace relations.

“The Government and the Taskforce need to remember that the current laws can be quite complicating for small business.” Ms Lamb said.

“The NRA has often spoken about how difficult it can be for small business owners to understand fully their obligations under the extensive and complicated workplace relations regime, and to ensure they are fully complying with every requirement.

“The overwhelming majority of employers do the right thing by their employees, and when the rules are difficult or confusing they err on the side of benefitng their employers.

“The taskforce should provide proposals for improvements in the law that help small business do the right thing in the first place, rather than simply punish them after they’ve done the wrong thing.

“The NRA wants to work with the Government in bolstering protections for migrant workers, but we do not want to see retailers punished for honest mistakes made due to the complexity of the current laws.

“We are hopeful that any outcomes from the Migrant Workers Taskforce helps to better protect migrant workers, while at the same time making it easier for small business owners to meet their responsibilities under the law.”

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