Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the minister for small business. Under the IR legislation a coffee shop with fewer than 15 employees is exempt from compulsory bargaining. If a coffee shop operates over three sites with seven employees at each, will they be forced into multi-employer bargaining?
The minister hasn't begun her answer. I'm not sure why you're complaining about it. I want to be clear on this. The member for Moncrieff was heard in silence when she asked her question. It is completely disrespectful to any minister to, before they've even begun speaking, be yelling at them. I give the call to the minister.
As I said very clearly, there are thresholds that need to be met. The single employer needs to have the businesses with the threshold number of employees. We are currently negotiating and discussing, given the Senate recommendations on that number of employees. We've also said that either side of the bargaining table can opt in to the single-interest bargaining stream—the employer, by consent, or the employees, by majority support. They also need to meet the test whereby the Fair Work Commission needs to be satisfied that the employers have clearly identified common interests and the bargaining is not contrary to the public interest.
So, there are several thresholds that need to be met. On the employee number, as you would know from the recommendations from the Senate, there is another number that has been proposed, and we're currently in negotiations and are discussing that. But let's be very clear. Over two million small businesses in Australia will be exempt from these provisions.