Government blames typo for incorrectly costing multi-employer bargaining – ABC News


The federal government is blaming a typo for a $5, 000  discrepancy in the estimated cost some businesses could incur during multi-employer bargaining.  

Labor wants to pass its massive industrial relations bill within the next week but its multi-employer bargaining elements are proving contentious with both the opposition and the Senate crossbenchers, who the government needs to support the bill.  

The   Department of Employment and Workplace Relations  has estimated  that engaging in bargaining and paying for a consultant could cost medium-sized businesses around $74, 000.

However , the Coalition says the actual figure is $5, 000 dollars more.

Speaking on the ABC’s Capital Hill program, Small Business Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Julie Collins sought in order to downplay the error.

When asked if the government had been let down by its department, she repeatedly described the mistake as a “distraction”.

“They absolutely should be correct, ” Ms Collins said of the estimates.

“But we think … what we saw yesterday was a big distraction about what is, essentially, a typo.

“What we are trying to do is make it cheaper and easier for small business to access enterprise bargaining. That’s what the expenses does. ”

The government needs the support of ACT senator David Pocock or Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie to pass its industrial relations costs.

Both have called on the government to split its bill, so they can pass the bulk of it and return to multi-employer bargaining next year.  

Coalition frontbencher Michaelia Cash has seized on some of the sources the particular department used to cost how much the legislation would price businesses.

Bureaucrats have been accused of using Google to cost the bill, with parliamentary documents citing a document —  which had been penned by a self-described “spiritual healer” —  that was titled “How Much Should I Charge As A Consultant in Australia? “.

A separate footnote cited a page  “How much do Payroll Services cost? ” from the  website bark. com.

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Michaelia Cash calls for Labor to pull industrial relationships legislation

“What we have now seen is the department and government are utilising websites (where) the particular guru’s a modern day healer (and) is now giving advice to government on how much a business should charge per hour for consultancies, ” Senator Cash said.

“And then they conveniently also now forget to tell you in relation into the calculation of payroll services, they’re using bark. com, which lists as its most popular services: dog walking, dog and pet grooming, private investigators, limousine hire and magicians.  

“This process has now gone from the absurd to the absolutely farcical  and what it shows is this legislation is not fit for purpose and should be pulled by the government. ”

A Labor-led parliamentary report into the federal government’s industrial relations bill earlier this week  recommended carving out a greater number of small businesses from multi-employer bargaining .

The committee recommended the definition of a small business employer be increased from fewer than 15 employees,   to fewer than 20 employees, including regular casuals.

On Thursday, Ms Collins said negotiations with the crossbench were continuing but the bill still listed the threshold at 15 employees.

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