• Pushing for IR reform: Sam Puri, PIAA
    Pushing for IR reform: Sam Puri, PIAA

The peak printing industry association PIAA is pushing for changes to Australia’s unfair dismissal laws, which it wants to benefit small business, who make up the majority of the industry.

Printing Industries is in contact with Christian Porter, industrial relations minister, providing what PIAA industrial advocate Sam Puri describes as "six sensible changes" to Australian workplace laws including “more smooth” operation of unfair dismissal laws.

PIAA has provided what it calls a number of practical, incremental IR reforms targeted towards its SME sized members. It has told the minister that small business is the lifeblood of the Australian economy; this includes those in the print, packaging and visual communications sector.

Puri said, “Our members, many of whom are small businesses, have been crying out for simple, flexible, competitive, productive and fair industrial relations laws.

“IR laws which take into account their needs as small business operators will help their businesses improve productivity, increase investment, and create more jobs,” said Puri.

The changes espoused by PIAA include:

  1. Change the definition of a small business from 15 to 25 employees – which expands the protections afforded to small businesses in the Fair Work Act.
  2. Protect small businesses who have properly completed the checklist and comply with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code from spurious unfair dismissal claims.
  3. Cap the maximum compensation payable in an unfair dismissal case to 13 weeks remuneration, as larger amounts often result in the business shutting down, and remaining employees losing their jobs.
  4. Primary remedy for an unfair dismissal claim should not be reinstatement for a small business.
  5. Introduce caps on compensation across broader action/breach claims and split the maximum compensation payable into bands based on small and large business size.

The association has continued to lobby the Morrison government on behalf of its members since the Coalition’s surprise win at the May 18 election.

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